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USA TODAY - Jul 07, 2005   
UnitedHealth to buy PacifiCare in deal worth $8.1 Billion
FTCR, the consumer group that led the fight in California over WellPoint, has launched an attack on the UnitedHealth Group and PacifiCare merger, and said that health insurers claim mergers provide better and more cost-effective care, but history shows ju... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jul 07, 2005   
UnitedHealth plans to acquire PacifiCare;
$8.1 billion deal will create insurer with 26 million members
The consumer advocacy group FTCR disagreed with the merger and said that consumers will have fewer choices, and costs will go up.... more


The New York Times - Jul 07, 2005   
UnitedHealth to Buy PacifiCare in Push Into Medicare
A patient advocacy group that fought the WellPoint-Anthem merger last year on the grounds that the deal would raise costs and reduce choices for patients said it would call on regulators to ensure that patients continue to have access to current doctors.... more


Sacramento Bee - Jul 07, 2005   
Merger of health insurers planned;
UnitedHealth Group is set to purchase PacifiCare in an $8.1 billion deal.
Creating the nation\'s second-largest health insurer \"will result in less choice for patients, lower payments for doctors and hospitals, and more waste in the health care system,\" said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Consumer and Taxpayer Rights.... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Jul 06, 2005   
State fines Blue Cross $150,000;
Error caused multiple charges for premiums
Jerry Flanagan, a spokesman for FTCR, said the fine is a slap on the wrist for Blue Cross. He added that the state's slow response was a dangerous shift in priorities at what is supposed to be the nation's premier HMO watchdog.... more


Ventura County Star - Jul 06, 2005   
Blue Cross billing errors result in fine of $150,000;
Nearly 45,000 charged multiple times
Jerry Flanagan with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said his office had received hundreds of calls about the charges. Flanagan said he was disappointed with the fine imposed.... more


Stockton Record - Jul 06, 2005   
Blue Cross fined for $12 million in overcharges
"A $150,000 fine on a company that had a $300 million profit increase is barely a slap on the wrist and won't deter Blue Cross from making the same mistake again," said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica.... more


Associated Press - Jul 06, 2005   
UnitedHealth makes offer for PacifiCare in huge health care deal
"HMO goliaths like WellPoint and Aetna and a merged UnitedHealth and PacifiCare are so big they don't have to compete, and threaten patient care," said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which has been critical of HMOs.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Jul 02, 2005   
Hospital price lists trickle in;
About 60% meet state's deadline for service charges
A consumer group said the compliance rate is unacceptable. Jerry Flanagan with FTCR said the sticker prices charged by hospitals, which are generally paid only by people without health insurance, are too high and bear little relation to underlying costs.... more


Daily Journal of Commerce (Portland, OR) - Jul 01, 2005   
Bush expected to sign junk fax amendments
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a nonprofit consumer protection agency, said the Act would \"undo crucial protections and create a flood of unwanted junk faxes,\" by eliminating the need for written permission.... more


Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) - Jun 30, 2005   
CANADA MAY CUT EXPORT OF DRUGS;
S. FLORIDIANS VOICE CONCERN
"Americans are only buying drugs from Canada because President Bush and Congress, with their cozy ties to the pharmaceutical industry, refuse to support a prescription drug bulk purchasing plan," said David Fink, consumer advocate with FTCR.... more


The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) - Jun 30, 2005   
Canada threatens drug cutoff
HEALTH: Many people, among them Inland seniors, buy the lower-cost medications.
Some Americans in northern states go to Canada to buy cheaper drugs. Canadian-drug buyers in California are more likely to order over the Internet, said Jerry Flanagan, health-care policy director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Consumer Affairs - Jun 30, 2005   
Consumer Group Challenges AMA on Drug Ads
"The AMA's feigned concern for the fate of patients targeted by drug advertising makes about as much sense as a pusher enrolling his customers in drug-addicts anonymous," said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR).... more


The Wall Street Journal - Jun 30, 2005   
Canada May Ban U.S. Drug Sales When Supply Falls
The evolving situation in Canada has prompted an outcry from U.S. consumer groups who believe low-income Americans, including senior citizens, could lose access to affordable medication.... more


Los Angeles Daily News - Jun 30, 2005   
Canada may shut off prescription supply
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which organized the train trip to Vancouver, said that if Canada bans the export of prescription drugs, the United States must provide a better solution for senior citizens.... more


Associated Press - Jun 29, 2005   
Health minister says Canada intends to ban the export of bulk prescription drugs
Some consumer advocates say many lower-income Americans have no choice but to turn to Canada for their lifesaving medications.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 23, 2005   
Cheapest health insurance;
Bay Area rates high in affordability for individuals
Some consumer advocates criticized the survey, arguing that using a healthy 30-year-old for insurance comparison purposes doesn\'t tell the whole story of access to affordable care.... more


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Jun 19, 2005   
Nonprofit funded lavish travel with insurance spin-off
A consumer group, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said a nonprofit should operate efficiently and reinvest its money in the organization or the community --- actions that confer its special tax status, and not keep huge cash reserves... more


Consumer Affairs - Jun 17, 2005   
Watchdog Slams Drug Marketing To Doctors
"Drug companies spend five times as much on marketing to doctors than they do advertising to patients because they know their profits depend upon whether a doctor is motivated to prescribed the newest blockbuster," said Jerry Flanagan of FTCR.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Jun 16, 2005   
HMO price hike slows for CalPERS
With California workers ultimately paying more for health care, FTCR called for a new program that would allow any California resident to have access to the same rates that CalPERS members get.... more


Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service - Jun 16, 2005   
Frist, Clinton push for health information technology legislation
Jerry Flanagan of FTCR said that if a breach in a medical database occurred, insurance and pharmaceutical companies and employers could acquire the information to use against the patient, and the legislation fails to hold database operators accountable.... more


Associated Press - Jun 16, 2005   
Clinton, Frist Tout Medical Records Bill
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said expanding medical databases the way Clinton and Frist hope would put more people at risk of identity theft.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 15, 2005   
Judge Tosses Blue Cross Tax Lawsuit;
The court cites lack of jurisdiction in rejecting a request to require the state to collect more from the insurer.
The Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which filed the suit, is considering whether to appeal the ruling or to take the controversy to state regulators.... more


Sacramento Bee - Jun 14, 2005   
Judge rejects Blue Cross tax
"This the first round. We are not done yet," said Jamie Court of FTCR. Within the next few weeks, Court said, his group will make its next move. He can go to a state court of appeal, ask state tax regulators to reconsider rules that exempt Blue Cross... more


DOW JONES NEWSWIRES - Jun 13, 2005   
Study: Many Canadian Drug Web Sites Fake
It's doubtful that many consumers care if the Web site from which they purchase prescription drugs is based in Canada, said Jerry Flanagan, director of health policy at FTCR, particularly seniors, are more worried about the safety of the drugs... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 10, 2005   
Everybody Into The Insurance Pool
By 2010, employers will not pay for health insurance for nearly half of California\'s working adults, according to a new UC Berkeley study. Faced with skyrocketing premiums, companies are simply cutting off health insurance as a benefit.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 01, 2005   
Malpractice Payouts Have Not Soared, Reports Say;
The two studies suggest jury awards have little to do with skyrocketing liability insurance rates.
Douglas Heller, executive director of the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said it was rate regulation -- not liability caps -- that had kept premiums relatively low in California.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 25, 2005   
Colleges Test New Health Program;
School employees will be able to pre-fund supplemental coverage for use in retirement.
"The move toward savings accounts to replace retirement coverage is symptomatic of a lack of leadership necessary to make healthcare affordable," said Jerry Flanagan, with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a Santa Monica-based nonprofit.... more


BestWire - May 24, 2005   
CALIFORNIA REGULATORS NOW LOOKING INTO BLUE CROSS OF CALIFORNIA'S RESERVES
In April, in a letter to state officials, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based consumer group, asked the state to investigate "double-digit rate increases" on Blue Cross customers.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 18, 2005   
Regulators to Examine Reserves at Blue Cross;
The amount is about five times the required level, attracting attention in light of recent premium hikes being investigated.
State regulators, already probing recent rate hikes by Blue Cross of California, on Tuesday also pledged to scrutinize the health insurer\'s reserve fund, which is five times as big as required by law.... more


The Tallahassee Democrat - May 17, 2005   
Clinton-Gingrich is just the ticket to a lame health-care sequel
I'm not sayin that the Hillary-Newt idea is a bad one (for that, read HuffPost blogger Jamie Court ) - just an unimportant one. It's either a small good idea or a small bad idea - despite the gossipy buzz the "When Hillary Met Newt" pairing... more


Sacramento Bee - May 14, 2005   
Blue Cross grilled on fees;
State wants to know whether premiums were raised to fund WellPoint merger.
Jerry Flanagan, with the Foundation for Consumer and Taxpayer Rights, said at the meeting that he had heard similar stories of frequent and steep rate hikes from Blue Cross members all over the state.... more


Stockton Record - May 14, 2005   
Blue Cross premiums probed;
Anthem merger costs at issue
Consumer advocate Jerry Flanagan said Blue Cross broke its promise not to raise rates to pay for the costs associated with the merger, including $265 million in cash bonuses paid to company executives.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 14, 2005   
Regulators Accelerate Probe of Hikes in Blue Cross Premiums;
Consumer activists tell of boosts as high as 40% after a takeover of the insurer's parent. The company calls the increases reasonable.
Cindy Ehnes, director of the Department of Managed Health Care, said her agency already had been reviewing Blue Cross' compliance with its merger-related promises, but has picked up the pace of the inquiry after receiving more than 70 recent complaints... more


Associated Press - May 14, 2005   
California regulators step up investigation of Blue Cross hikes
Consumer activists testified Friday that some Blue Cross customers were seeing rates jump 20 to 40% on individual & family plans. "Our worst concerns have come home to roost," testified Jerry Flanagan of FTCR. He said the company should have to justify th... more


CNSNews.com - May 12, 2005   
Hillary Clinton, Newt Gingrich Team Up on Medical Data Bill
FTCR, a consumer advocacy organization, warns that the "huge databases" envisioned by the bill would contain information on a patient's illnesses, genetic predispositions, alcohol and drug addiction, medication history. etc.... more


The Indianapolis Star - May 11, 2005   
California is taking close look at WellPoint's rate increases
Jerry Flanagan, consumer advocate for the California consumer group Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said "All the evidence suggests they (WellPoint) passed on" merger-related costs to California members,"... more


Associated Press - May 05, 2005   
LA Tentatively Approves Drug Discount Program
The LA Rx program aims to reduce the cost of prescription drugs to Los Angeles residents by as much as 40 percent and could be a particular benefit to the estimated 40 percent of city residents who lack health insurance. ... more


Los Angeles Times - May 05, 2005   
Council OKs Discount Prescription Drug Plan
"We think this is the front lines of prescription-drug reform," said Jerry Flanagan, of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which helped Villaraigosa draft the plan.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 05, 2005   
WellPoint Unit Dealing With Botched Bills;
Nearly 47,000 Blue Cross of California customers were charged premiums as much as five times too high in April.
"Simply repaying the overcharges, fees and interest is not enough," said Jerry Flannigan of the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, a Santa Monica-based consumer advocacy group. "Blue Cross must be punished to ensure the company gets the message."... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - May 05, 2005   
Blue Cross says overcharges fixed
The Santa Monica-based consumer advocacy group FTCR, said the overcharge amounted to $20 million, which WellPoint Inc., corporate parent of Blue Cross, disputed.... more


KPCC 89.3FM Pasadena, CA - May 04, 2005   
LA Has Chance to Lead Prescription Drug Revolution
If the City Council does the right thing, Los Angeles will be on its way to becoming the only city in the country that negotiates price breaks from drug companies on behalf of its residents.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Apr 28, 2005   
WellPoint profit doubles from a year ago;
Quarterly rise follows merger with Anthem
"Blue Cross patients have the right to be suspicious. At the same time premiums are increasing 20 to 50 percent, WellPoint's profits are going through the roof," said Jerry Flanagan, health policy director for FTCR.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Apr 27, 2005   
Insurers warn they would be unable to handle massive California disaster
"The insurance industry is not going to fall apart if there's another catastrophe," Doug Heller, consumer advocate with FTCR said. "They may not be able to have historic profits year after year, but they're still making money."... more


Sacramento Bee - Apr 27, 2005   
Panel kills universal health insurance;
The Assembly action comes as the Senate looks at a state-run plan to replace private coverage.
Opponents countered that AB 1670 might prompt employers to drop their existing health insurance policies, and that many Californians could not afford the $5,000 deductible in basic policies.... more


Modern Healthcare - Apr 25, 2005   
Deal breaker?
Calif. Blues plan investigated for violating deal
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights argues that Blue Cross\'s latest premium hikes far outstrip the industry average of about 10%.... more


The Record - Apr 23, 2005   
Blue Cross of California customers complain about experiences with insurer
Consumer advocate Jerry Flanagan with the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, called Arnold's treatment by Blue Cross "outrageous" and typical of "an uncaring, corporate monolith."... more


Ventura County Star - Apr 20, 2005   
Blue Cross rate increase draws anger
Consumer group alleges huge jumps tied to merger
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights wants an audit to make sure the premium increases it has heard about in the past two weeks are not passing on the cost of the $16.5 billion merger of Anthem Inc. and WellPoint Health Networks Inc. to custome... more


San Jose Mercury News - Apr 19, 2005   
Hikes by Blue Cross spur investigation
Are They Tied to Merger With Anthem Last Year?
Jerry Flanagan of FTCR, a watchdog group, said those increases are higher than the industry average of 9 percent to 10 percent. The group has received calls from Blue Cross of California policyholders citing premium increases of 20 percent to 50 percent.... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 19, 2005   
State Regulators Probe Increase in Some Blue Cross Premiums
FTCR, a Santa Monica-based consumer advocacy group, sent a letter Monday to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger demanding an investigation into Blue Cross fee increases on HMO plans and other lines sold under the state Department of Managed Health Care.... more


Sacramento Bee - Apr 19, 2005   
Blue Cross deal queried
Consumer advocates Monday called on the governor and the insurance commissioner to investigate whether Blue Cross of California has raised insurance premiums to fund a $16.5 billion merger that last year forged the nation\'s largest health plan.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Apr 17, 2005   
Support gaining for mandated health insurance
Critics say such a requirement could place an unrealistic burden on small businesses and the poor.
"All this will do is make small business and individuals purchase health insurance they can't afford," said Barry Fowler, a self-employed consumer who is working with Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights to fight the bill.... more


USA TODAY - Apr 06, 2005   
Canada, Mexico soon will seem farther away
\"It seems to me that this is something that\'s meant to deter travelers from going to Canada to buy prescription drugs every 90 days,\" says Jamie Court, president of FTCR, a consumer watchdog group which has organized \"Rx Express\" trips to take senior... more


The Fresno Bee - Apr 01, 2005   
Coalition targets health care;
Group forms to improve coverage in the Valley
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights has spent two years bringing community groups together, with the goal of supporting its greater statewide efforts for improving health-care access. FTCR also has set up town hall meetings in 11 communities... more


Sacramento Bee - Mar 25, 2005   
Lawyers, drug companies huddle;
Talks aim at a truce over initiative campaigns that would hurt pocketbooks of both interest groups.
Despite the talks, a union-backed prescription drug plan that would use state bargaining power to force discounts for low-income residents is making the initiative rounds, with help from paid signature gatherers.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Mar 23, 2005   
Battle over cheaper drugs may hit ballot
A battle between consumer groups and the pharmaceutical industry over cheaper prescription drugs is threatening to escape the confines of the Legislature and escalate into a full-scale ballot war in the fall.... more


CBS-TV Evening News - Mar 20, 2005   
California Blue Cross offers different approach to health insurance coverage to young people
Mr. JAMIE COURT: The insurance company has you going and coming. If you\'re healthy, they\'ll keep taking your money and never pay a benefit, and if you get very, very sick and they don\'t want you, all they have to do is raise your premiums 1000%.... more


Marketplace - National Public Radio - Mar 14, 2005   
Medical malpractice math
When a doctor\'s, hospital\'s or drug company\'s negligence seriously injures a patient, someone\'s got to pay the medical bills and living expenses. If it\'s not the wrongdoer, then it\'s likely gonna be the America taxpayer through social security, disa... more


San Jose Mercury News - Mar 12, 2005   
Big money put behind drug-cost campaign;
PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY WANTS TO SEIZE INITIATIVE
Jerry Flanagan, a frequent Schwarzenegger critic, who backs one of the consumer-oriented initiatives, said the drug industry is adopting a nuclear strategy with its three initiatives.... more


Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville) - Feb 22, 2005   
Malpractice battle will continue in Georgia;
Trial lawyers say they're going over their options to overturn the new law, which sets caps.
Using the gross negligence standard to get a malpractice claim against an emergency room is almost unheard of, said Carmen Balber, a consumer advocate at FTCR in Santa Monica, Calif., which opposes that state's malpractice award caps.... more


Sacramento Bee - Feb 14, 2005   
Drug companies approve $10 million for California ballot fight
Jamie Court, head of the Santa Monica, Calif.-based taxpayers and consumers foundation, called the Schwarzenegger and Ortiz plan a "smokescreen" designed to undercut the Election Watchdog prescription drug bulk purchasing plan.... more


San Jose Mercury News (California) - Feb 10, 2005   
Bill seeks further delays in retrofitting hospitals;
LAWMAKER SAYS MANY FACILITIES CAN'T AFFORD TO MEET STANDARDS
"This is one big huge favor for the hospital industry," said Jamie Court from FTCR. "Some hospitals are making a killing. They should put some of that money back into hospitals to make them safe."... more


Modern Healthcare - Feb 07, 2005   
Upon further review;
'External review' of medical claim denials is now the law of the land nearly nationwide. But the system has its fans and foes
Consumer advocates assailed the decision as a seminal step backward for patients' rights. Health insurers hailed it, saying it would help stem the nation's soaring healthcare costs.... more


Brandweek - VNU Business Media, Inc. - Feb 07, 2005   
Drug Companies Examine Themselves Amongst Waves of Bad Publicity
\"The industry average for research and development is about 15% [of sales],\" said Jerry Flanagan, healthcare director at FTCR. \"Profit is twice R&D and marketing is two to three times as much. Every dollar spent on marketing means drugs will be more ex... more


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin) - Feb 04, 2005   
Insurers give Doyle $28,500;
Donations called 'quid pro quo politics' after merger
The Wellpoint-related donations to Gov. Doyle follow a similar pattern the firm has set elsewhere, said Jerry Flanagan, health-care advocate for FTCR, based in California. Such donations give the appearance of "pay to play," Flanagan said.... more


Political Pulse - Jan 28, 2005   
Schwarzenegger convenes meeting of consumer advocates to talk about drug purchasing plans
The fundamental rift, as of now, is that the administration believes the rate cuts should be voluntary. Advocates want the cuts to be mandatory, and want the state to use its leverage as a buyer to secure those discounts.... more


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin) - Jan 28, 2005   
Missing out on a windfall
In the midst of yet another budget deficit, the Doyle administration missed a chance to obtain perhaps tens of millions of dollars by negotiating a concession package before approving the merger of two giant health insurance firms last year.... more


Sacramento Union - Jan 24, 2005   
Measure goes further than governor's proposal to force drug prices down
"If Canada with a population of 30 million negotiates 30 [percent] to 70 percent savings, we should be able to surpass that," said Jerry Flanagan, consumer advocate with Santa Monica-based Election Watchdog and author of the initiative.... more


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin) - Jan 24, 2005   
State (Wisconsin) missed chance at health care payoff for poor;
Others saw opportunity in insurance company merger
Jerry Flanagan, health-care advocate for the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, disagreed and said Wisconsin's law clearly provides plenty of room to hold up mergers based on likelihood of passing along burdensome merger cost... more


Sacramento Bee - Jan 21, 2005   
Stem cell holdings criticized
Ten of the 29 directors of California\'s new stem cell program serve on biotech or pharmaceutical firms\' boards of directors or have extensive holdings in those industries, leading critics to challenge their ability to fairly represent taxpayers in dolin... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jan 12, 2005   
Prescription benefit amid health care cuts;
Plan relies on help from drugmakers
Cal Rx is not open to enough Californians who need drug coverage, said Jerry Flanagan, director of health policy for FTCR. He instead urged negotiating a low-rate bulk-drug purchasing pool involving all residents.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Jan 07, 2005   
Drug savings plan directed at low-income Californians
\"These companies are the makers of Vioxx and Celebrex,\" said Jerry Flanagan, spokesman for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. \"We can\'t trust drug companies to give discounts.\"... more


United Press International (UPI Wires) - Jan 06, 2005   
Health Biz: Malpractice caps not enough
The non-profit Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights quickly shot back malpractice premiums rose 450 percent after the 1975 cap until a 1988 voter initiative passed that began regulating insurance premiums by law.... more


CNN-TV CROSSFIRE (4:30 PM EST) - Jan 06, 2005   
Debate on President Bush's Effort to Tackle Medical Malpractice Reform
Doug Heller runs the Foundation For Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, and he told The Los Angeles Times: If President Bush, really cares about lowering premiums for docs, he needs to take on the insurance industry. And he's not proposed to do that. Why hasn't... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Jan 06, 2005   
HMOs must cover medically necessary drugs in California
Consumer advocate Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said the legislation went through with a good intent but was written in a way that allows insurers to charge more.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 05, 2005   
Bush Takes Aim at Tort Reform, a Moving Target;
President will launch his push to limit civil suit costs in a county labeled a magnet for litigation. But lawyers say statistics there tell another story.
For the first 13 years after the cap was enacted, insurance rates continued to rise in California. It was not until state voters approved Prop 103, a 1988 ballot proposition mandating a rate rollback and making it easier to challenge future rate hikes, th... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 05, 2005   
State Proposes HMO Drug Regulations
The rules are meant to implement a 2002 law protecting prescription coverage. Co-payment size remains an issue.
Although they hailed the thrust of the draft regulations, patient advocates said they feared vague language could allow health maintenance organizations to raise drug co-payments beyond the reach of many consumers, contradicting the spirit of the 2002 law... more


The Baltimore Sun - Jan 05, 2005   
Bush launching campaign for second-term agenda;
President seeks changes on malpractice awards, tax code, Social Security
Doug Heller, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which opposes Bush's plan, said Bush is "on a warpath to blame the ills of the health care system on a manufactured concept that lawsuits are the heart of the problem."... more


Reuters - Jan 05, 2005   
Calif. Governor Calls for Reforms, Spending Cap
Schwarzenegger also promised a prescription drug plan for nearly 5 million Californians, which consumer advocacy group The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, immediately called a plan to put drug companies in charge of health.... more


Chicago Tribune - Jan 03, 2005   
Bush's tort reform efforts to start at 'judicial hellhole';
Speech in an Illinois county infamous for litigation will begin push to cap damage awards in lawsuits
"At the end of the day, [legal reform] is a way to take money from people's pockets," said Doug Heller, director of the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights.... more


St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri) - Jan 02, 2005   
Insurance regulations bear blame, critics say
"The Bush administration can say lawsuits are the problem, but their data is contradictory and without a toehold on reality," said Doug Heller, executive director of FTCR. "We're not talking about insurance companies and that's a huge failure in this deba... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Dec 31, 2004   
Middle-class Americans face life without health insurance
\"When the problem of the uninsured affects the middle class, there will be a political will in Sacramento to solve the problem,\" said Jerry Flanagan, health policy director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


The News Journal (Wilmington, DE) - Dec 21, 2004   
Delawareans to carry medical history in their pocket;
Card will give doctors round-the-clock access
Making sure the system is secure is "the time-old story," said Jamie Court, president of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. The California-based nonprofit organization was established in 1985 to protect the interests of consumers.... more


Associated Press - Dec 18, 2004   
Amid continuing complaints, stem cell board chooses its leaders
Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said that a main concern is that research grants will be given on the basis of personal relationship and financial interest and not based on the best interest of California patients.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Dec 18, 2004   
Prop. 71 financier debuts as chairman;
29-member board sworn in; biotech exec is vice chair
A Los Angeles nonprofit, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, issued a news release charging that the newly named stem-cell board was rife with conflicts of interest. ... more


The Orange County Register (California) - Dec 18, 2004   
Stem cells' tangled web;
Committee charged with overseeing state-funded research is already wading through political, financial and legal muck.
Jerry Flanagan, an advocate with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said, "The key concern is the huge amount of conflict of interest of board members with companies that stand to profit from research grants."... more


The New York Times - Dec 17, 2004   
Financier to Lead Institute on Stem Cells
Some board members have been criticized for their ties to large biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and Amgen. Jerry Flanagan, an advocate for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, warned of a web of conflicts.... more


Sacramento Bee - Dec 16, 2004   
Controversy embroils stem cell panel;
The selection of a chairman, set for today, sparks some protests.
A public watchdog group, the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, plans to tell the committee that it will be monitoring the new panel because of its members' connections to pharmaceutical and biotech firms that could profit from state-funded stem... more


Los Angeles Times - Dec 12, 2004   
Commentary: When the Incentive to Save a Life Dies;
Under state law, it may be cheaper to let children die from malpractice.
The medical insurance establishment and President Bush are holding up MICRA as a model for the nation. But what was uncovered at King/Drew should be a warning: No one was watching out for the public because it wasn\'t in anyone\'s financial interest to do... more


Modern Healthcare - Dec 06, 2004   
Not everyone's happy; Anthem closes $16.4 billion deal for WellPoint
It's official: There's a new world order in the health insurance industry.
Jerry Flanagan, an advocate with FTCR, isn't so optimistic. "The last decade of HMO mergers has taught us that when fewer HMOs dominate the healthcare market, quality goes down, premiums go up, and patients get shortchanged," he said.... more


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Dec 01, 2004   
Merger of HMOs approved;
State unveils plans to use new funds
A California-based consumer group, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, noted the merger would bring up to $600 million in cash and stock options to top executives of the companies.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Dec 01, 2004   
Anthem, WellPoint Merger Is Complete;
Deal creates the biggest U.S. health insurer. One executive says members can expect more choices but not lower prices.
"These bonuses are nine-figure Christmas gifts for company executives at a time when patients have to fight for basic healthcare coverage," said Jerry Flanagan, a spokesman for the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Sacramento Bee - Dec 01, 2004   
Health giants wrap up merger;
Anthem, WellPoint clear Georgia hurdle.
With the exception of Blue Cross, every investor-owned health plan in the state pays premium taxes on revenues from certain managed care plans regulated by the Department of Insurance. FTCRs suit asked the state to collect those taxes from Blue Cross.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Nov 30, 2004   
After a year, 'We're done';
Anthem joins with WellPoint
"This merger means executives get rich, but it doesn't improve access to health care for consumers, and when HMO executives are allowed to raid the health care system for their own enrichment, patients and small business owners lose," said Jerry Flanagan.... more


Associated Press - Nov 30, 2004   
With Georgia on board, Anthem, WellPoint complete merger
Jerry Flanagan of FTCR said the millions of dollars to improve health care in two states was \"chump change\" compared with executive payouts that were part of the deal and the premium increases customers could face to cover the merger\'s financing costs.... more


Sacramento Bee - Nov 24, 2004   
Make Blue Cross pay, group's suit demands
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights has filed a lawsuit to force the state to collect what the foundation says is $500 million in unpaid taxes from Blue Cross of California, a subsidiary of WellPoint Health Networks Inc.... more


The Indianapolis Star - Nov 24, 2004   
Group sues WellPoint for $500 million;
Watchdog says unit shortchanged taxpayers in California, skirted tax for for-profit PPOs.
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights charged that WellPoint's Blue Cross of California unit has shortchanged California taxpayers by $500 million by not paying the 2.35% state tax on premiums collected by for-profit PPOs.... more


Los Angeles Times - Nov 23, 2004   
WellPoint Back Taxes Sought
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which has opposed Anthem's purchase of WellPoint, said they filed the suit with a sense of urgency because Anthem and its shareholders need to understand WellPoint's obligations to the state.... more


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Nov 12, 2004   
State rejects offer by insurer;
Anthem seeks OK for merger
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a California-based consumer group that opposes the deal and raised the issue of executive compensation, said California\'s action opens the door for other state regulators to strike similar deals.... more


The New York Times - Nov 10, 2004   
California Backs Merger of 2 Giant Blue Cross Plans
Jamie Court, president of a California patients' advocacy group, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, suggested that "every state insurance commissioner will be trying to see what they could get from this deal."... more


San Jose Mercury News (California) - Nov 10, 2004   
WellPoint deal wins OK from Garamendi;
CONCESSIONS TO CLEAR ACQUISITION BY ANTHEM
Consumer groups praised Garamendi\'s efforts but said there was still cause for concern about the merger.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Nov 10, 2004   
Anthem-WellPoint deal OKd;
Companies agree to spend more on underserved communities
Health care advocates said that they are glad Anthem and WellPoint had made additional concessions but that they are still worried about the impact of the giant merger on California consumers.... more


Marketplace - Minnesota Public Radio - Nov 10, 2004   
The Next Four Years -- Consumers
In the Next Four years, we'll see Greed Breed. That's the Bush Administration's agenda. And to accomplish it, the top tactic will be to make you terrified of government itself.... more


Marketplace Morning Report - MN Public Radio - Nov 10, 2004   
California's insurance commissioner gives his blessing to a merger between Anthem and WellPoint Networks
What this merger does is set the bar on future HMO and other mergers of all types. If you're going to take money from the state of California, if you're going to take money from patients anywhere in the country, you have to give back an equal sum.... more


Sacramento Bee - Nov 10, 2004   
Garamendi approves big health plan merger
In California, some consumer groups remained concerned that Garamendi had not eliminated executive compensation deals from the merger.... more


The Indianapolis Star - Nov 10, 2004   
Anthem merger clears key hurdle;
Millions in concessions sway California opponent; Company talks with other states that could object
Back on May 19th, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a nonpartisan advocacy group, calls on California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to order regulators in California to have a public hearing on the proposed merger of Wellpoint/Anthem.... more


Contra Costa Times (California) - Nov 05, 2004   
State backs off on nurse levels
Responding to complaints that hospitals are closing because of a law that took effect this year, California\'s health department on Thursday said it will ease nurse staffing requirements.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Nov 05, 2004   
State moves to freeze nurse-patient ratio
In a post-election blow to powerful nursing unions, the Schwarzenegger administration moved Thursday to ease some requirements of the state\'s first-in-the-nation law telling hospitals how many nurses they must have on hand to care for patients.... more


Washington Business Information Generic Line - Nov 03, 2004   
'TAKE GENERIC DRUGS,' BRAND FIRM TELLS ITS EMPLOYEES
"While big pharma tout their R&D costs, according to their tax filings they spend two to three times more on marketing and advertising," said Jerry Flanagan, healthcare policy director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


The Wall Street Journal - Oct 28, 2004   
Malpractice Insurer Sees Little Savings in Award Caps
\"When the largest malpractice insurer in the nation tells a regulator that caps on damages don\'t work, every legislator, regulator and voter in the nation should listen,\" said FTCR\'s executive director, Douglas Heller.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Oct 28, 2004   
FIRMS CONFIDENT OF MERGER;
WELLPOINT, ANTHEM BID STILL RAISES CONCERNS
"Even if they win in court, every state will have to take a second look," said Jamie Court, president of the nonprofit group FTCR. "I'm not saying they won't all approve it, but this thing is far from a done deal, like they're telling investors."... more


Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville) - Oct 16, 2004   
Canada-bound seniors search for cheaper prescription drugs;
Train stops in Savannah to pick up people who can't afford medicine here.
Such pharmaceuticals are available in Canada for 30 percent to 60 percent less because Canadians buy in bulk, a system that drug companies have blocked in the United States, said Jerry Flanagan of FTCR, the California-based organizer of the train trip.... more


Associated Press - Oct 15, 2004   
Seniors on drug train buy cheaper medicines in Canada
After a 600-mile train ride to a drug store in Toronto, June Marie Preston said Thursday she was buying medication that would save her thousands of dollars a year compared to prices in her Pennsylvania hometown.... more


The Toronto Star - Oct 15, 2004   
The Yonge Street drug connection
The Shannons are just two among two dozen Americans who rolled into Union Station Wednesday night on the Rx Express - a train voyage that started five days ago in Miami. Invited aboard by the non-partisan FTCR, they saved an average of 56% on their drug p... more


Rochester Democrat & Chronicle - Oct 15, 2004   
Drug protesters, Amtrak spar over trip
Jerry Flanagan, health care policy director for the nonprofit group running the Rx Express, said Amtrak\'s action must have been taken to keep protests about U.S. prescription drug costs out of the news on the day of the last presidential debate.... more


New Jersey Star Ledger - Oct 15, 2004   
Drug maker promotes generics for workers;
Novartis draws fire on cost-cutting bid
Critics said the cost-cutting move by Novartis undermines the industry\'s position. As they see it, the company is conceding that prescription-drug costs are rising so rapidly that even a large drug maker can\'t afford to cover costs for its own employees... more


The Saratogian - Oct 15, 2004   
Americans must have access to affordable medication
A group of senior citizens steamed up from Miami this week aboard two train cars dubbed the Rx Express, heading to Toronto in search of reasonably priced prescription medication. The fact that they have to travel so far is shameful.... more


CTV – News Canada - Oct 14, 2004   
Presidential Debate on Prescription Drug Prices Isn't Stopping the RxExpress
More than two dozen seniors and patients arrived in Toronto Wednesday night aboard a chartered train that picked up passengers from across the U.S. as it made its way north from Miami, Florida.... more


CANADIAN PRESS - Oct 14, 2004   
U.S. seniors descend on Toronto pharmacy
A group of U.S. patients frustrated with the cost of drug therapy at home descended on a downtown pharmacy today to send a message to American political leaders — and fill their prescriptions at the same time... more


Toronto Star - Oct 14, 2004   
Seniors' freedom train pulls into town
Two dozen aging and ailing Americans who last night completed a 3,500 kilometre train journey to Union Station as modern-day revolutionaries — like the "freedom riders" who bused into the U.S. south to fight segregation.... more


The Standard (St. Catharines, Ontario) - Oct 14, 2004   
U.S. seniors take 'Rx Express' to T.O.:
Come to buy lower-cost Canadian prescriptions
The Toronto-bound Amtrak train departed Miami on Monday and stopped in dozens of East Coast cities to pick up passengers. Dubbed the Rx Express, the trip includes 25 seniors or other ailing Americans from several states up and down the east coast.... more


Buffalo News (New York) - Oct 14, 2004   
CONSUMER GROUP, AMTRAK TRADE JABS OVER RXEXPRESS
A train ride from Miami to Toronto by a group of U.S. senior citizens intent on buying low-cost prescription drugs in Canada turned into a running feud between a consumer group and Amtrak.... more


The Toronto Star - Oct 13, 2004   
Transplanted Canadian heads home for medicine
The unusual train trip, organized by the non-partisan Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, is an election-year ploy designed to draw attention to the exploding cost of medicine in the Untied States.... more


Associated Press - Oct 13, 2004   
Prescription Drug Advocates Bash Amtrak
The group of about 20 elderly people are traveling to Toronto to buy drugs at cheaper Canadian prices. The U.S. government does not allow reimportation of such drugs from Canada, arguing there are safety concerns.... more


The Canadian Press (CP) - Oct 13, 2004   
U.S. seniors ride 'Rx Express' to Toronto to buy lower-cost prescriptions
More than two dozen U.S. seniors and patients rolled into Toronto Wednesday night aboard the Rx Express a chartered train on a whistle-stop tour to buy lower-cost Canadian prescription drugs.... more


ABC News TV 10 (Syracuse, NY) - Oct 13, 2004   
Group fed up with high prescription drug costs
Senator John Kerry takes a different stance from Bush. \"As President, I\'ll fight to allow Americans to import lower cost prescription drugs from Canada,\" Kerry said.... more


Capital News TV 9 (Albany, NY) - Oct 13, 2004   
All aboard... RX Express
The RxExpress train started its journey in Miami, Florida, and stopped at the Rensselaer Train Station. It\'s traveling across the East Coast to pick up senior citizens and take them to Toronto, Canada, in order to buy lower cost prescription drugs.... more


The New York Sun - Oct 12, 2004   
'RX EXPRESS' STEAMS THROUGH PENN STATION
The RxExpress train trip, which started in Miami yesterday, was designed to bring attention to the practice of bulk drug purchasing in Canada, which he says translates into discounts of 30% to 60%.... more


Orlando Sentinel (Florida) - Oct 12, 2004   
'RX EXPRESS' TAKES SENIORS TO CANADA
A 77-year-old Ocoee man boarded the so-called "Rx Express" for Canada, where he hopes to buy his medications for less than he pays in Florida. The trip is organized by a consumer group that is pushing for lower drug prices in the United States.... more


Associated Press - Oct 12, 2004   
Seniors, en route to Canada to buy cheaper drugs, stop in New York City
The caravan, dubbed the Rx Express, started Monday in Miami and stopped in Manhattan on Tuesday to pick up more passengers and try to pressure the U.S. government to negotiate with manufacturers for lower prices, as is done in Canada.... more


The Toronto Star - Oct 12, 2004   
Pill-smuggling grannies
The aim of the RxExpress is to pressure both Republican and Democratic leaders in Washington to adopt a Canadian-style system of buying drugs, that is, buying in bulk to negotiate better prices for U.S. citizens.... more


Palm Beach Post (Florida) - Oct 11, 2004   
Tired of high prescription drug prices? Take the Rx Express to Toronto
The California-based FTCR sponsored a similar ride up the West Coast in August, and both trips provide the group with a whistle-stop tour on which to promote their solution - a national bulk-purchasing program for all patients.... more


Miami Herald - Oct 10, 2004   
Seniors find discounts on Rx Express
FTCR wants the federal government to insist that the drug manufacturers provide bulk rates for Medicare recipients, the same way the Veterans Administration forces large discounts for its patients.... more


Bradenton Herald - Oct 09, 2004   
Manatee woman to ride drug train;
Seniors, disabled people climb aboard to buy cheaper prescription drugs in Canada
Their trip should net big savings: Passengers on the first Rx Express trip, which ran from San Diego to Vancouver in August, saved passengers an average of $2,000 each on their annual prescription drug bills, FTCR said.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Oct 01, 2004   
Governor vetos Canadian-drug bills
The bills, among the top priorities for Democrats, would have set up a state Web site informing consumers about prices charged by reliable Canadian pharmacies and encouraged the state to use its buying power to purchase drugs from Canada for state program... more


Orlando Sentinel (Florida) - Sep 30, 2004   
TRAIN ROLLS TO CANADA TO BUY CHEAPER DRUGS;
THE PUBLICITY TRIP TO TORONTO WILL OFFER SOME PRESCRIPTION PRICE RELIEF FOR 25U.S. PASSENGERS.
"We want to raise the profile of this issue so that people will have cheaper drugs for a long, long time to come," said Jerry Flanagan with the California-based FTCR. "Our goal is to make it unnecessary to go to Canada in the future."... more


St. Petersburg Times (Florida) - Sep 27, 2004   
Hop a train to save on drug costs
Jerry Flanagan of the foundation said the sponsors will screen interested participants with an eye toward those with the greatest need. Participants on the West Coast trip saved an average of $2,000 per person on their Canadian purchases.... more


Senior Journal - Sep 22, 2004   
RxExpress Now Heads Up East Coast Taking Seniors to Buy Canadian Drugs
The RxExpress is about to make another drug run to Canada. This time they will pick up pre-selected senior citizens along the East Coast to take them across the northern US border to buy prescription drugs at prices much lower than those available in the... more


The Kansas City Star - Sep 21, 2004   
'Investigational' treatments see cutbacks
Jamie Court, president of FTCR in Santa Monica, CA, said insurers generally have tried to escape from all sorts of procedures until Congress or a legislature has forced them to cover a specific treatment.... more


Savannah Morning News - Sep 21, 2004   
Seniors disgusted with prescription drug prices board train to Canada
The Rx Express from Miami to Canada, via Savannah, is a way for seniors to thumb their noses at the U.S. pharmaceutical companies.
The goal of the Rx Express, paid for and organized by a California-based consumer advocacy group, FTCR, is to demonstrate the huge price disparity between prescription meds in the United States versus those in Canada.... more


The News & Observer (Raleigh, N. Carolina) - Sep 18, 2004   
Free trip to Canada for seniors; drug purchase necessary
Starting Oct. 11, the nonpartisan Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights will hitch two private rail cars to the back of an Amtrak train in Miami. The caravan will wind its way up the eastern seaboard, picking up folks along the way.... more


Los Angeles Times - Sep 02, 2004   
A Show of Weakness in Drug Import Debate
Fresh from his star turn at the Republican convention, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger could scarcely find a better way to certify his role as a political action hero than to take on perhaps the most powerful corporate force in America: the drug industry.... more


Marketplace - Minnesota Public Radio - Aug 31, 2004   
US government's war on prescription drugs
The US government is prosecuting a new war on drugs: prescription drugs. The FDA is shutting down storefront pharmacies that import cheap drugs from Canada like they're crack houses.... more


The Oregonian - Aug 30, 2004   
Stores light way for Canadian prices on drugs
the nonprofit Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights reserved two cars on an Amtrak train that stopped in Portland en route to Vancouver, B.C., in search of lower-cost drugs. The train, dubbed the Rx Express, generated widespread buzz -- and sympathy... more


Los Angeles Times - Aug 30, 2004   
Governor Is Sprinting for Donations;
Schwarzenegger is on pace to raise about $9million to fight two gambling initiatives on the Nov. 2 ballot and to promote his agenda.
\"There is no doubt that Schwarzenegger has violated the fundamental principle of his campaign: that he would keep the special interests out of his government,\" said Douglas Heller, executive director of the Santa Monica-based FTCR.... more


Los Angeles Times - Aug 30, 2004   
"Off-the-Rails Drug Policy"
Last week, the California Assembly approved legislation authorizing the state to buy cheaper drugs from Canada for the prison system and other state agencies.... more


Associated Press - Aug 26, 2004   
'Drug Train' Takes Americans to Canada
About two dozen Americans who chartered a two-car train for a four-day whistlestop trip from San Diego to Vancouver to buy medication and bring pressure on the U.S. government to negotiate with manufacturers for lower prices, as is done in Canada.... more


The Gazette (Montreal, Canada) - Aug 26, 2004   
Seniors on Rx Express roll into B.C.
In Canada, prescription drugs sell for 30 to 60 per cent less than in the U.S. because the Canadian government buys in bulk and negotiates rates, Rx Express organizer Jerry Flanagan says.... more


The Vancouver Province (British Columbia) - Aug 26, 2004   
U.S. seniors' drug train rolls into Vancouver;
Activists highlight need for cheaper drugs in the U.S.
Elderly U.S. activists intent on saving up to 60 per cent on the cost of prescription drugs brought a key issue in the U.S. presidential election to Vancouver yesterday as they arrived to fill prescriptions written in the United States.... more


The Vancouver Sun (British Columbia) - Aug 26, 2004   
Seniors find cure for pricey drugs
Jerry Flanagan of FTCR said the U.S. should adopt the Canadian policy of buying drugs in bulk and negotiating lower prices with pharmaceutical companies, who have too much lobbying power in Washington.... more


The Brockville Recorder & Times (Ontario) - Aug 26, 2004   
AMERICANS ARRIVE BY TRAIN TO LOAD UP ON 'SOUVENIR' DRUGS;
RX EXPRESS VISIT PART OF U.S. PROTEST
Seniors groups estimate about 11 million older Americans - roughly one-third of the total - do without drug coverage and more than a quarter of Americans with disabilities lack coverage.... more


The Oregonian - Aug 25, 2004   
Rx Express heads north for drug buy;
Two Portlanders are taking the Canada-bound train trip calling attention to the power of bulk purchasing
"Why do you get better prices at Costco? It's bulk purchasing," said Jamie Court, foundation president and chief organizer of the protest.... more


The Vancouver Sun (British Columbia, Canada) - Aug 25, 2004   
U.S. demand for our medicine worries druggists
The Santa Monica-based FTCR has spent $25,000 to charter part of an Amtrak train to bring seniors and other patients to Vancouver to buy cheap prescription drugs in a protest against the disparity in drug pricing between Canada and the U.S.... more


The Davis Enterprise - Aug 24, 2004   
Drug train travels through
Passengers on the Rx Express hope to draw attention to high drug prices in the United States and add to the increasing call for the government to be permitted to negotiate a national bulk-purchasing program for pharmaceuticals, which they believe would re... more


The Toronto Star - Aug 24, 2004   
Rx Express rolls north in search of cheap drugs
The Rx Express was arranged and paid for by a taxpayers\' group, which wants the government to be allowed to negotiate a national bulk-purchasing program for pharmaceuticals to reduce their cost to U.S. Medicare patients and others.... more


Sacramento Bee - Aug 24, 2004   
Riding rails for drug imports
Group wants state OK to buy cheaper Canadian medications.
California is one of at least 25 states weighing legislation that would allow Canadian drug imports, and Los Angeles and San Francisco are among scores of cities doing the same.... more


Broadcast News (BN - Canada) - Aug 24, 2004   
Rx Express
U.S. seniors are on a train heading to Vancouver looking for relief from skyrocketing drug costs.... more


CNN DAYBREAK (5:00am EST Broadcast) - Aug 24, 2004   
Rolling protest against high drug prices
Elderly activists left Monday for Canada aboard two trains dubbed the "Prescription Express." They're heading to Vancouver to buy prescription drugs.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug 24, 2004   
Shrinking coverage stings those on individual plans
"Families are making the hard decision to limit their coverage or to go to catastrophic care. It's like nothing we have seen in the past decade," said Jerry Flanagan, a consumer advocate specializing in health care issues with FTCR in Santa Monica.... more


Portland Tribune - Aug 24, 2004   
Seniors take aim at drug prices;
Event will spotlight two groups' differing cost-cutting solutions
The Rx Express started off as a simple enough idea: Send a group of senior citizens up to Canada to save money on their prescription drugs, and raise all sorts of election-year issues along the way.... more


Ventura County Star - Aug 24, 2004   
Rx Express rolls through county with a message;
Train touts cheaper prescription drugs
The Rx Express was on its way to Vancouver, B.C., where the 25 or so riders, all age 50 and older, hope to have their prescriptions filled at prices 30 to 60 percent cheaper than at pharmacies in the United States.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Aug 24, 2004   
Cross-border run;
Seniors head for Canada in search of better drug prices
"The point is, nobody should have to travel to Canada to get affordable drugs," said Doug Heller, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, one of the groups funding the trip and lobbying for the bills in Sacramento.... more


Associated Press - Aug 23, 2004   
Rolling protest over high drug prices heads from LA to Canada
"Prescription drugs are bankrupting the entire health care system," said Jerry Flanagan of the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug 22, 2004   
Special Report; Less for more: The health care crunch. Part 1 of 3
Insurance ills put squeeze on consumers; Sliding benefits, soaring costs swell insurers' profits
"What the HMOs tell us is that because hospital costs are going up and prescription drugs are going up, that is why we have to raise premiums," said Jerry Flanagan, a consumer advocate with FTCR. "But premiums are going up exponentially faster."... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug 21, 2004   
Rx Depot loses bid to end injunction
Critics of the government\'s campaign against imported drugs said yesterday the agreement was a victory for big drug companies.... more


Orange County Register - Aug 20, 2004   
Veto awaits drug measures;
Schwarzenegger pledges to reject bills for access to cheaper foreign medicines.
Drug companies have donated at least $337,200 to Schwarzenegger\'s campaign committees, according to the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a watchdog group.... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug 20, 2004   
Discounted drugs urged for uninsured Californians;
Official rejects Canadian medications as illegal
Jerry Flanagan, a spokesman for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said the governor and his committees have received about $325,000 from the pharmaceutical industry, which opposes importing drugs from Canada.... more


Orange County Register - Aug 19, 2004   
Taking Rx Express;
Six O.C. residents are joining a trip to Canada to protest high prescription-drug costs.
The train is sponsored by Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which is advocating, among other reforms, prescription drug bulk purchasing to lower drug costs.... more


The Seattle Times - Aug 16, 2004   
Health savings accounts: Can they cure insurance blues?
High deductibles, Tax breaks, lower premiums may tempt workers, employers alike
Jerry Flanagan, consumer advocate with The Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights in Santa Monica, Calif., thinks health savings accounts and their accompanying high-deductible plans could erode, not enhance, benefits for some workers.... more


Press Enterprise (Riverside, CA) - Aug 12, 2004   
FIELD POLL - HEALTH COVERAGE;
PROP. 72: Firms would either buy insurance on their own or pay into a state-run pool.
"This is about ensuring that working people have access to health care," said Jerry Flanagan, health care director for the Los Angeles-based consumer advocacy group The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Los Angeles Times - Aug 12, 2004   
Nice Try, WellPoint, but Ad Doesn't Stand Up to Scrutiny
WellPoint would love to go the extra mile for the community. As long as it\'s on its own terms.... more


Los Angeles Times - Aug 11, 2004   
An active retirement;
Older Americans make a formidable voting bloc, and as healthcare issues and the war make headlines, more are politicized, some say.
The Canadian Rx Express is a train ride to Vancouver to pick up three-month supplies of prescription drugs to dramatize the irony of having to go to Canada to buy U.S.-made drugs at discount prices, organized by FTCR.... more


Los Angeles Times - Aug 11, 2004   
They Can't Stomach Drug-Firm Baloney
"People should not have to drive two hours, or take a train trip, or go on the Internet to buy drugs from another country," says Assemblyman Dario Frommer (D-Los Angeles), the author of two bills that would bring some relief.... more


Los Angeles Times - Aug 04, 2004   
Anthem Sues in Bid to Save WellPoint Deal
What's more, judges often defer to regulators, especially elected officials, said Jamie Court of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica, which opposes Anthem's acquisition of WellPoint.... more


Sacramento Bee - Aug 04, 2004   
Anthem suit targets Garamendi
Insurance chief is accused of unfairly blocking the planned merger with WellPoint.
The lawsuit "ignores the fact that California courts have given insurance commissioners broad discretion to protect policyholders," said Jerry Flanagan, of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Associated Press - Aug 03, 2004   
Anthem sues Calif insurance official over WellPoint merger block
Critics claim the companies would have to raise premiums to deal with the costs of the merger. "I think it's going to be a real uphill battle," Jerry Flanagan, of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said of the lawsuit.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Aug 02, 2004   
To Really Reform Healthcare, Democrats Should Take Their Cue From Garamendi
Democrats talked a good game when it came to healthcare reform at their convention in Boston last week. But talk is cheap. They need to follow the lead of one of their own -- California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi -- and play hardball.... more


Alameda Times-Star (Alameda, CA) - Jul 31, 2004   
Kaiser: Profit up, members are flat
\"Patients don\'t want an advertising campaign, they want lower premiums,\" said Jerry Flanagan with FTCR, adding that the $40 million is enough money to insure 4,500 California families,... more


Los Angeles Times - Jul 30, 2004   
Garamendi Digs In
Garamendi turned down Anthem\'s deal to acquire Thousand Oaks-based WellPoint, which insures more than 7 million Californians through its Blue Cross of California subsidiary. Anthem is expected to take Garamendi to court for his admirable stance... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Jul 28, 2004   
COMPANIES SEE HEALTHY PROFITS
Filing a lawsuit is a way for Anthem and WellPoint to buy time while they weigh their options. The only shot they have at getting final approval is significantly reducing the golden parachutes that executives will receive if the merger goes through.... more


San Bernardino County Sun (California) - Jul 25, 2004   
Prop. 72 aims to cancel health care act
Jerry Flanagan, a spokesman for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, says it is much more costly to have a work place where workers are missing days because of illness than one where employees are insured by their employers.... more


Sacramento Bee - Jul 25, 2004   
Garamendi won't let health insurers merge
"Not only do California consumers owe Garamendi a debt of gratitude, they owe him a debt of $4 billion," said Jerry Flannagan, of FTCR, referring to the funds he estimated would be paid by Californians to finance the merger.... more


The New York Times - Jul 24, 2004   
Regulator Stalls Blue Cross Deal in California
At least one advocacy group, FTCR, which has been a vocal critic of the plan, praised his decision. The deal had been roundly criticized for the generous pay packages given to the executives involved and for the $3.4 billion in debt that would be incurred... more


The Indianapolis Star - Jul 24, 2004   
Anthem-Wellpoint merger - California blocks blockbuster deal;
Decision final, says insurance official
Indianapolis\' chance of becoming home to the country\'s largest health-benefits company hit a wall Friday when California\'s insurance commissioner rejected the proposed $16.4 billion dollar merger of Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc. and WellPoint Health N... more


Los Angeles Times - Jul 24, 2004   
Garamendi Blocks Part of WellPoint Deal
The state insurance chief's move makes the purchase of the health insurer by Anthem Inc. even more uncertain.
The Santa Monica-based Foundation for Consumer and Taxpayer Rights, which first leveled the tax allegation, is considering filing a lawsuit over the matter, possibly as early as next week. "This isn't over," said Jamie Court, the group's president.... more


San Jose Mercury News (California) - Jul 24, 2004   
Garamendi puts brakes on insurance giants' merger
Jerry Flanagan, an advocate with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, praised Garamendi "as the only regulator in the state to stand up to WellPoint and Anthem and say, 'Enough is enough.' "... more


Associated Press - Jul 23, 2004   
Calif. insurance commissioner rejects Anthem-WellPoint merger
Critics suggested that Blue Cross has underpaid insurance taxes by $500 million since it became a for-profit corporation in 1994. Blue Cross officials called the charge a blatant lie, but FTCR said it would sue to recover the money.... more


The Indianapolis Star - Jul 18, 2004   
Politics or protecting policyholders?
As Anthem's merger stalls, different theories arise about the holdup
Jerry Flanagan, consumer advocate for the nonprofit FTCR, which has questioned the merger's impact on policyholders, sees Garamendi's proposal as "more of a payoff to the state to get approval. It's not as if they (WellPoint or Anthem) owe that debt to th... more


THE SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER - Jul 15, 2004   
EDITORIAL: REDRESS WHEN WRONGED? FORGET ABOUT IT
What right do all government officials have that the taxpayers who pay their salaries don\'t? After two recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, the answer is the right to sue your health maintenance organization (HMO) or health insurer for damages.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Jul 15, 2004   
BLUE SHIELD OFFERS REBATES TO NEEDY
Jerry Flanagan, lead health care advocate at the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica, said Blue Shield and other health plans should be giving significantly more.... more


San Francisco Weekly (California) - Jul 14, 2004   
Follow the Money
Why does Gavin Newsom need a backer like the California Urban Issues Project?
FTCR asked the IRS to reconsider the tax-exempt status of a nonprofit set up to benefit Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, saying the entity violates federal tax law by helping the governor raise money, lobby, and conduct polls, without disclosing its sources of... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Jul 13, 2004   
AWARDS CUT IN MEDICAL ERRORS;
STATE LAW LOWERS JURY VERDICTS FOR VICTIMS BY 30% TO 51%
"What the study indicates is that people, regardless of the legitimacy of their claim and the seriousness of their injury, are seeing their recovery arbitrarily reduced - and in some cases, quite dramatically," said Doug Heller, executive director of FTCR... more


The Boston Herald - Jul 13, 2004   
LESS PAIN, SUFFERING FOR DOCS;
Calif. law reduces malpractice awards, fees
\"What it says is that the people with the most severe and entirely legitimate claims are having their rights severed,\'\' said Doug Heller, head of California\'s Foundation for Taxpayers & Consumer Rights.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jul 12, 2004   
HMO Regulator Is Taking a Back Seat in Anthem Deal
The key question left unanswered by Friday's hearing is why an agency whose only role is to oversee health plans hasn't taken the lead role in examining an acquisition that will affect California more than any other state. ... more


Los Angeles Times - Jul 12, 2004   
Golden State: HMO Regulator Is Taking a Back Seat in Anthem DealHMO Regulator Is Taking a Back Seat in Anthem Deal
The key question left unanswered by Friday's hearing is why an agency whose only role is to oversee health plans hasn't taken the lead role in examining an acquisition that will affect California more than any other state... more


Modern Healthcare - Jul 12, 2004   
No resolution in California; Questions remain after Anthem-WellPoint hearing
Officials with the two giant insurers pushed their case for the merger during a hearing conducted by the state\'s Department of Managed Health Care, which must approve the deal. The hearing included a handful of residents and consumer advocates who critic... more


BestWire - Jul 12, 2004   
GROUP CALLS DMHC MEETING ON WELLPOINT/ANTHEM DEAL A \'SHAM\'


American Health Line - Jul 12, 2004   
WELLPOINT: REGULATORS EXPECTED TO RULE ON ANTHEM DEAL AFTER; REVIEW


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Jul 10, 2004   
CRITICS SLAM MERGER PLANS;
ANTHEM, BLUE CROSS PARENT TO COMBINE?
Critics are concerned that the deal will result in excessive compensation and bonuses to the two companies\' executives, and that patients will be paying the cost through their premiums.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jul 10, 2004   
Ruling on Anthem to Follow Review
Other critics, led by Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, repeated charges that WellPoint had exploited a loophole to save millions of dollars in state taxes after Blue Cross switched from a nonprofit to a for-profit corporatio... more


Los Angeles Times - Jul 09, 2004   
Tax Probe of WellPoint Is Sought
Senator Ortiz, echoing allegations from FTCR, said she wanted to know whether WellPoint and Blue Cross, which was a nonprofit organization until converting to for-profit status nearly a decade ago, benefited from a tax loophole not enjoyed by similar HMOs... more


Los Angeles Times - Jul 08, 2004   
Blue Cross Tax Status Criticized
Consumer advocates criticized the proposed sale of WellPoint Health Networks Inc. on Wednesday, saying its Blue Cross of California unit enjoyed a unique and unfair loophole that allowed it to pay lower taxes than rival health plans.... more


Los Angeles Daily News - Jul 08, 2004   
Officials look into Blue Cross tax loophole
FTCR, a Santa Monica-based consumer advocacy group, continues to dredge up information about Blue Cross\' premium tax exemption.... more


Ventura County Star - Jul 07, 2004   
Garamendi still not satisfied with healthcare merger plans
"Simply requiring Anthem to pay $400 million is hush money to get the state to go away," Jerry Flanagan with FTCR said Tuesday. "What the state needs to require is that WellPoint refund its excess reserves to policyholders, and agree to freeze premiums... more


Indianapolis Star - Jul 07, 2004   
Anthem talks disappointing, regulator says
California insurance commissioner lays out conditions for his OK of WellPoint takeover.
Garamendi\'s news conference \"feels to me like he\'s getting closer to saying no to the deal altogether,\" said Jerry Flanagan, consumer advocate at Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a nonprofit consumer group that has opposed terms of the mer... more


The Indianapolis Star - Jul 03, 2004   
Anthem, WellPoint resist $400 million payment;
California is considering making the firms donate to state health program in return for OK on merger.
"$400 million is chump change. We need more," said Jerry Flanagan, the group's consumer advocate. WellPoint's Blue Cross unit has reserves of $1 billion that regulators should aim to keep in the state under a takeover by Anthem, he said.... more


Indianapolis Star - Jun 29, 2004   
Shareholders quickly OK Anthem deal
WellPoint merger gets approval from 97% of two firms' investors; California is final hurdle.
FTCR, a California consumer group, called Monday for California regulators to require Anthem to refund $1 billion to policyholders if it's allowed to take over WellPoint. The amount represents the reserves that WellPoint's Blue Cross unit has set aside fr... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 29, 2004   
WellPoint Sale Moves Forward
Shareholders approve the deal with Anthem. But it needs an OK from California regulators.
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights sent letters Monday urging the the managed-health department and Garamendi to demand WellPoint return $1 billion in what the advocacy group described as \"premium-funded reserves\" to policyholders.... more


Los Angeles Daily News - Jun 28, 2004   
WellPoint deal may flop
Garamendi may kill pact with Anthem
Consumer advocacy groups have also raised the specter of compensation packages and the threat of a WellPoint-Anthem monopoly. FTCR said Monday it is calling on state regulators to require the companies to refund $1 billion to patient and small businesses... more


Indianapolis Star - Jun 26, 2004   
Anthem fails to quell skepticism
California insurance chief fears premium hikes will finance merger
California\'s insurance commissioner grilled executives from Anthem Inc. and WellPoint Health Networks Inc. Friday, saying plans to create the nation\'s largest health benefits company appear to benefit executives and stockholders over patients.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 26, 2004   
Garamendi Questions Costs of Deal to Buy Wellpoint
Friday's hearing attracted about 150 people. Before it began, members of consumer organizations gathered around a roast pig on a platter. Jerry Flanagan of FTCR said it was a symbol of how "HMO executives feed at the trough."... more


The Indianapolis Star - Jun 25, 2004   
Anthem offers merger concessions;
California issues demands on execs' compensation, Blue's profits
California regulators may demand further concessions from Anthem before approving its takeover of WellPoint's California business, said Jerry Flanagan, consumer advocate for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a California nonprofit... more


Ventura County Star - Jun 25, 2004   
State official threatens deal
Garamendi wants companies to assist the poor
The commissioner scored political points with activists, such as the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which have been pushing regulators to extract higher concessions from the two companies in exchange for approval.... more


Associated Press - Jun 25, 2004   
Questions raised over cost of proposed WellPoint-Anthem merger
California's insurance commissioner grilled executives from Anthem Inc. and WellPoint Health Networks Inc. Friday, saying plans to create the nation's largest health maintenance organization appear to benefit executives and stockholders over patients.... more


United Press International - Jun 25, 2004   
Analysis: California's insurance battles
HMO executives should not be allowed to feed at the trough at the expense of California patients and business owners," said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said in the latest of its many angry statements on the merger.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 24, 2004   
Public Hearing Set on Deal to Buy WellPoint;
Amid criticism, state HMO regulators will take testimony on the proposed $16 billion purchase by Anthem.
The department's decision to hold a hearing on the purchase is good news for patients, said Jerry Flanagan, a San Francisco-based healthcare analyst for FTCR. The decision, he said, shows the administration has bowed to pressure from patients' rights grou... more


Ventura County Star - Jun 24, 2004   
Health department will hold hearing
In advance of his department's Friday hearing, Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi posted on his department's Web site Wednesday the latest draft of Anthem's proposals to alleviate his concerns about how the merger might hurt California residents.... more


Associated Press - Jun 24, 2004   
Health care regulatory agency to hold hearing on WellPoint merger
A consumer advocacy group said Wednesday that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration has agreed to hold a public hearing on a pending $16.4 billion merger between Anthem Inc. and WellPoint Health Networks.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 22, 2004   
Justices limit suits against HMOs;
No damages when coverage denied for recommended care
Few suits have been reported under the California law. Consumer advocates, like Jamie Court of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said the fear of expensive lawsuits has kept HMOs in line.... more


United Press International - Jun 22, 2004   
BUSH SWITCHES POSITION ON HMOs -- ON THE RECORD
FTCR wrote to Bush: Ironically, you, the Supreme Court, and congressional representatives can use state laws to hold your HMOs accountable, but the victims of HMOs who work for private sector employers have no remedy because of your action with the court.... more


Dow Jones Newswires - Jun 22, 2004   
Patients' Rights Seen Hurt By Supreme Court HMO Ruling
Jerry Flanagan, consumer rights spokesman with FTCR, said it's disappointing that the Bush administration filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case on the side of the HMOs, particularly because Bush had supported the patients bill of rights... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Jun 22, 2004   
High court ruling impairs patients' rights to sue HMOs
"Now there is no longer a legal deterrent to HMOs that cut cost corners by overriding physicians' decisions," said Jerry Flanagan, a spokesman for FTCR. "It was the threat of legal liability that made HMOs less likely to deny care in the first place."... more


San Bernardino Sun (San Bernardino, CA) - Jun 21, 2004   
Supreme Court rules patients who claim their HMOs wouldn't pay for needed medical care cannot sue for big malpractice damages.
"Basically what this says is that in California, if a patient is denied care by an HMO and suffers some harm or becomes ill because they didn't receive that care, their only recourse is to sue their HMO in federal court, not state court," said Jerry Flana... more


CBS MarketWatch.com - Jun 21, 2004   
Aetna, Cigna win Supreme Court ruling on HMO suits
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, or FTCR, accused President Bush of creating a double standard for certain employees and violating campaign promises.... more


The Indianapolis Star - Jun 19, 2004   
Anthem merger to get 2nd hearing;
California official concerned about payouts to WellPoint executives
Under the draft proposal, nothing would stop Anthem from removing the remaining $652 million and using it as it wished, said Jerry Flanagan, health care policy director for the Santa Monica, California-based consumer group.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 19, 2004   
Health Giants Seek to Calm Critics;
Insurers Anthem and WellPoint are working on a way to placate foes of their combination.
Jerry Flanagan, a spokesman for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said neither the Blue Cross association rules nor Anthem\'s pledges guaranteed that the cash would stay in California.... more


The Argus (Fremont, CA) - Jun 17, 2004   
OPINIONS/EDITORIAL - State of state's health care:
Californians need help as well from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The governor has taken $300,000 from the pharmaceutical industry. But he has enormous political clout, and took office as a reformer, a man of the people.... more


The Wall Street Journal - Jun 15, 2004   
Calpers To Oppose WellPoint Merger With Anthem
The California officials at the press conference said they would ask the department of managed health care to make approval of the merger conditioned on the elimination of the "excessive compensation packages."... more


Associated Press - Jun 14, 2004   
CalPERS opposes WellPoint-Anthem deal, calls for proxy fight
\"Hundreds of millions of dollars in pay-outs to HMO executives would undermine patient care and the stability of the merged company,\" said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. ... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Jun 13, 2004   
WellPoint, Anthem union decried
CalPERS, Angelides denounce proposed merger
Health care premiums will be driven up to pay for executives\' golden parachutes. That means there will be less money around to provide for patient care, said Jerry Flanagan, lead health care advocate for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Jun 13, 2004   
RISKY BUSINESS;
MORE SMALL-BUSINESS OWNERS, SELF-EMPLOYED GOING WITHOUT HEALTH CARE INSURANCE
"What we need to have is a baseline health insurance plan that's affordable and provides quality care without being too watered down," said Jerry Flanagan, health care advocate with FTCR.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jun 13, 2004   
Sued a Physician, Did You? The Doctor Won't See You Now;
Ethics collapse over malpractice insurance cost.
A resolution to be voted on by the AMA's House of Delegates would make it ethical for physicians to refuse to treat plaintiffs' attorneys and their spouses, except in emergency situations and as otherwise required by law.... more


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Jun 12, 2004   
Health execs may get hefty bonuses;
Georgia Blue Cross officials could average $425,000 in acquisition.
The payouts, which would be made by Anthem, have been denounced by California consumer groups. One group, FTCR, said that if the compensation is paid out as planned, policyholders could end up with higher premiums and co-pays or fewer benefits.... more


Reuters - Jun 10, 2004   
Calif. hearings may stall WellPoint-Anthem deal
"The merger should be delayed until these questions are answered," Flanagan [of FTCR] said."It's becoming unlikely this will be worked out by the 28th.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 10, 2004   
Concern Voiced on HMO Merger;
Proposed takeover of WellPoint by Anthem 'is not in the best interest' of Californians, state insurance chief says.
"Gov. Schwarzenegger and state regulators have failed to adequately address serious questions about how the proposed merger will affect patient care," said Jerry Flanagan of FTCR. "The merger must be delayed until those questions are answered."... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 10, 2004   
State leery of health plan deal;
WellPoint executives could walk away with millions of dollars if Anthem merger OKd
"It's just appalling," said Jerry Flanagan, health advocate with FTCR, a Santa Monica group that on Tuesday obtained merger documents filed with the state Department of Managed Health Care. "It leaves less money left over to treat the sick."... more


Morning Edition - National Public Radio (NPR) - Jun 10, 2004   
Doctor Seeks Waiver from Treating Malpractice Lawyers
A South Carolina doctor is asking the American Medical Association to approve as ethical a policy that would permit doctors to refuse treating medical malpractice lawyers. The proposal demonstrates how heated the debate over medical malpractice has become... more


The Indianapolis Star - Jun 10, 2004   
Anthem merger runs into roadblock;
Delay in deal possible after California's chief says it isn't in state's best interests.
The hearing ocurred the day after a California consumer group, FTCR, released a WellPoint document that shows 293 of its executives and managers could reap more than $500 million in merger bonuses, termination payments and stock option gains within three... more


Associated Press - Jun 09, 2004   
Lawmakers promised few changes if health care merger goes through
"These excessive and obscene payouts to executives ultimately mean patients pay more, or business owners pay more," said Jerry Flanagan, health care policy director with the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 09, 2004   
WellPoint Payments Face Scrutiny;
The health insurer's executives could earn a total of $356 million as part of its acquisition by Anthem.
Jamie Court, president of FTCR, criticized WellPoint for failing to disclose the pay figures it reported to the managed-care agency. And he knocked the department for waiting until the evening before the state's only public hearing on the merger to releas... more


North County Times - Jun 05, 2004   
Health-care crunch hits Temecula
\"The unfortunate easy answer of rising health care costs is to have the employee pass on the rising costs to teachers,\" said Jerry Flanagan, consumer advocate for FTCR, who works with employers to help address the root causes of health care increases.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Jun 05, 2004   
Pill makers rushing to push risks of buying drugs abroad
Consumer advocates agree, except on the issue of agendas. Jerry Flanagan, a lead advocate at the nonprofit FTCR, said Amgen and other pharmaceutical companies are lining the pockets of politicians to protect their own profits, not patients\' interests.... more


The Indianapolis Star - Jun 03, 2004   
Anthem merger faces public hearing;
California panel will scrutinize $16.4 billion takeover of WellPoint
The hearing will air the whole range of concerns about how this merger could negatively impact patient care, said Jerry Flanagan, consumer advocate for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a California consumer group that will take part in the... more


Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO) - Jun 02, 2004   
TEPID START FOR DRUG CARD;
ABOUT A HALF-MILLION ON MEDICARE OPT FOR PLAN IN FIRST MONTH
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) says this is unfair, because companies could bait-and-switch customers.... more


The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA) - Jun 02, 2004   
Medicare card debuts - Seniors report little relief
Consumers should be aware of some common types of fraud. "Seniors should read the fine the print of drug discount card contracts and watch for fraud and identity theft," said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR).... more


INVESTORS BUSINESS DAILY - Jun 01, 2004   
A Corporate Strategy For The Uninsured
Big firms have the weight to move equally enormous health maintenance organizations, says Jerry Flanagan with FTCR. Your average consumer doesn't. "Health care is really a seesaw," he said. "Whoever's the biggest has the leverage."... more


Health Insurance Law Weekly - May 30, 2004   
HEALTHCARE COVERAGE: Proposal to bar excessive HMO rates fails in California Senate committee
Jerry Flannigan, a lobbyist for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said the bill would have helped control one of the biggest factors in rising health care costs: administrative overhead.... more


United Press International - May 27, 2004   
Health Biz: Adults seek health options
Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said the California bills "lead the nation in reform and could provide access to dramatically cheaper prescription drugs."... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - May 27, 2004   
Legislature taking seriously desire to buy drugs in Canada
How Schwarzenegger reacts will be closely watched by consumer groups which have criticized the governor for taking millions in campaign contributions from major corporations, including the pharmaceutical industry.... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - May 27, 2004   
Canadian drugs are backed by Assembly
Prescriptions would be available at a Web site
Jerry Flanagan, a spokesman for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said the governor and his committees have received about $325,000 from the pharmaceutical industry.... more


San Diego Union Tribune - May 25, 2004   
Votes likely on bills aimed at Rx costs
"To say that the drug companies have greased the Legislature would be an understatement," said Jerry Flanagan, a spokesman for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which supports the bill package.... more


Associated Press - May 25, 2004   
Battle over Canadian drug imports focuses on new group
"The pharmaceutical industry has cobbled together another front group to hide their political agenda to keep drug prices high," said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 23, 2004   
Drug Firms Say, 'No, Canada';
Industry-linked groups lobby with a vengeance against bills to ease imports from the north.
The pharmaceutical lobbying group is just one of several altruistic-sounding entities with financial links to the drug industry that have materialized around the Capitol. They want to kill a flood of legislation that would ease the way for drug imports fr... more


Los Angeles Times - May 23, 2004   
Drug Firms Say, 'No, Canada';
Industry-linked groups lobby with a vengeance against bills to ease imports from the north.
The pharmaceutical lobbying group is just one of several altruistic-sounding entities with financial links to the drug industry that have materialized around the Capitol. They want to kill a flood of legislation that would ease the way for drug imports fr... more


The Indianapolis Star - May 20, 2004   
Group seeks hearing on Anthem deal;
Consumer watchdog has concerns about WellPoint and suitor's practices, wants regulators in California to scrutinize $16.4 billion merger.
A consumer group Wednesday called on California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to order regulators in his state to hold a public hearing on Indianapolis-based Anthem's proposal to buy WellPoint Health Networks.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 19, 2004   
No Hearing on HMO Acquisition
"Anthem and WellPoint executives have to assure the public that the promises made to Blue Cross customers will be kept," said Jamie Court with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


American Health Line - May 19, 2004   
ANTHEM/WELLPOINT: CALIF. MAY OK MERGER WITHOUT PUBLIC HEARING


The San Francisco Chronicle - May 06, 2004   
New overseer for HMOs;
Ehnes says she can't cure all ills, but she wants to keep doctors fiscally healthy
"When it's a matter of life and death for patients, she has to be hard as nails," said Jamie Court, head of FTCR. "The HMOs have to think of her only one way: as a watchdog with bite and bark, and not as a lapdog who purrs."... more


Associated Press - May 05, 2004   
Proposal to bar excessive HMO rates fails in Senate committee
Jerry Flannigan, a lobbyist for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said the bill would have helped control one of the biggest factors in rising health care costs: administrative overhead.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - May 04, 2004   
Lawmakers eye limits on health care profits;
Health profits' limits considered
Consumer advocates have shown strong support of the bill. The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights issued a press release Monday detailing the lobbying efforts of health care companies attempting to woo legislators.... more


Pharma Marketletter (UK) - May 03, 2004   
Medco settles, agrees more transparency
Pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) are virtually unregulated, said Jerry Flanagan of FTCR, who added: "leaving this industry to self-regulate is like leaving the keys to the safe with Enron and asking them not to steal."... more


Oakland Tribune - May 01, 2004   
Kaiser income enjoys big gain
Consumer advocates say the first-quarter earnings show the need for passage of legislation that would require Kaiser and other health plans to go through a state approval process before raising premiums.... more


Governing Magazine - May 2004 - May 01, 2004   
A CURE FOR COSTS
A California group is proposing a three-pronged attack to counter the rising price of health care.
FTCR is not just making noise. There's an underlying goad in the proposal. In its report "Crisis and Opportunity: Forging a Universal Health Care Consensus," the nonprofit organization throws down the gauntlet.... more


Marketplace - National Public Radio - Apr 29, 2004   
Fighting Mad Doctors' Disease
Mad doctors disease is out of control. Striking doctors are not targeting insurance companies even though their profits went up a 1000 percent last year. Or threatening the few doctors who commit the majority of malpractice. They're targeting patients.... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 28, 2004   
'Bait and Switch' Alleged at Health Net
A consumer group's lawsuit alleges that Health Net Inc., one of California's largest medical insurers, failed to provide public employees in the state with the mental healthcare it promised them in its explanation of coverage.... more


Hartford Courant (Connecticut) - Apr 28, 2004   
Consumer Group Sues Health Net
Health Net Inc., one of California's biggest health insurers, is being sued by a consumer group for using a more restrictive interpretation of "medical necessity" than it stated in materials provided to California public employees.... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 27, 2004   
COMMENTARY: L.A. Could Cut Drug Costs With Bulk Buys;
City Council plan would ease the prescription bite for residents.
Los Angeles can take the lead by approving the proposed plan and showing the nation how to get a better deal for seniors and others who need more affordable prescription drugs.... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Apr 27, 2004   
Doctors to transmit orders via computer
However, technological advances such as electronic prescribing can be \"a double-edged sword\" because of privacy issues, said Jerry Flanagan, a consumer advocate with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


San Jose Mercury News - Apr 26, 2004   
Memo to state: volume discount
The state\'s budget crisis has gone well past the point where it can continue to pick the pockets of taxpayers while lining the pockets of pharmaceutical companies. California should demand the same deal it gets on office equipment or tires: Big buyers ge... more


CBS Radio News - The Osgood File - Apr 26, 2004   
Health care companies offering incentives to jog
Some consumer advocates, like HMO expert Jamie Court, think that the health insurance companies are only thinking about their own financial health.... more


Tulsa World - Apr 25, 2004   
Regulating insurers touted as solution
Stringent regulation of insurance companies has kept medical malpractice insurance rates stable for 13 years in California, a national consumer advocacy group says.... more


Newsday (New York) - Apr 19, 2004   
SUNRISE CENTERS; A rift in care under 1 roof
For six years, the nation\'s largest assisted living chain has operated in New York without being licensed by the state health department.... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 17, 2004   
Drug-Card Headaches
The new Medicare website could steer seniors toward legitimate discounts. Even more usefully, it could stoke a greater awareness of the pricing inequities that cry out for reforms far more ambitious than a drug discount card.... more


The New York Times - Apr 08, 2004   
Malpractice Legislation Remains Stuck In the Senate
The legislation "would directly benefit Senator Frist's family's hospital chain and insurance company and increase his personal fortune," the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said in a letter to the Senate Ethics Committee.
... more


Jackson Sun (Jackson, Tennessee) - Apr 08, 2004   
Frist should recuse himself from debate
How can Senator Frist argue legitimately that his own family\'s extensive holdings in the health care field won\'t somehow color his judgment? Realistically, he can\'t.... more


UPI - United Press International - Apr 07, 2004   
Senate ethics panel asked to probe Frist
The Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee Monday, asking the panel to investigate the majority leader\'s potential to benefit personally from legislation being examined by the body Wednesday.... more


Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee) - Apr 07, 2004   
Complaint alleges Frist conflict of interest
FTCR\'s complaint states Sen. Frist transferred HCA stock worth between $10 million & $30 million to blind trusts in late December 2000. It states that between $1 million & $2.3 million in HCA stock since has been added, while just under $625,000 in the s... more


Washington Post - Apr 07, 2004   
Ethics Complaint Cites Frist's Work On Medical Malpractice Legislation
A consumer rights foundation has asked the Senate ethics committee to investigate whether Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) improperly promoted legislation to limit medical malpractice awards while maintaining "personal and financial ties" to a large h... more


Associated Press - Apr 07, 2004   
Senate Again Tries Medical Malpractice Bill
Opponents of the bill also filed a complaint against Frist, a heart surgeon, for participating in the debate since his family founded the HCA hospital chain and its subsidiary malpractice insurer, Health Care Indemnity.... more


Gannett News Service - Apr 06, 2004   
Consumer group files complaint against Frist because of HCA ties
Carmen Balber said her organization FTCR, decided to call for a new investigation after Frist ignored requests that he stay out of the debate and said Frist has an obligation to step aside \"to give voters confidence that a vote is going through without a... more


Gannett News Service - Apr 06, 2004   
Consumer group files complaint against Frist because of HCA ties
FTCR said HCA, Inc., the Nashville-based hospital chain founded by Frist\'s father and older brother, and its malpractice insurance subsidiary would benefit financially from Frist-backed legislation to limit liability to $250,000 for trauma centers, gynec... more


BestWire - Apr 06, 2004   
CITING A CONFLICT, GROUP CALLS FOR FRIST TO BOW OUT OF MALPRACTICE DEBATE
Citing his investments and his family\'s ties to the country\'s largest hospital chain, a California consumer group has filed an ethics complaint against Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, alleging that his advocacy of medical-liability caps will \"line h... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 05, 2004   
Gearing up for a discount drug card;
The new Medicare program begins in June. Deciding which card to choose will take analysis, guesswork -- and luck.
The cards will not control actual prices, only discounts, says Jamie Court, president of the FTCR, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group. "The card states what discount you'll get, but it doesn't talk about the base cost of the drug," he says.... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 05, 2004   
Doctors' Hospital Bids Raise Ethical Worries;
As physicians seek to buy Tenet holdings, critics wonder whether profit would come before patients.
"The concern is that they will close the trauma centers and emergency rooms and turn these hospitals into specialty clinics where they can be assured very lucrative treatments," said Jerry Flanagan, a spokesman for FTCR.... more


Connecticut Post (Bridgeport, CT) - Apr 03, 2004   
Study Finds Negligent Care Likelier in Outpatient Settings
Jamie Court, president of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica, Calif., isn\'t surprised that more patients are being harmed in outpatient settings, considering the volume and complexity of services provided outside of the hospi... more


The Californian (Salinas, CA) - Apr 02, 2004   
To lower drug costs, strike while iron's hot
Two bills before the Assembly that would place affordable prescription drugs within the reach of California consumers and businesses deserve support. Urge your lawmakers to get behind them.... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Mar 29, 2004   
Governor fills long-vacant post of managed care director
Jerry Flanagan, a health care specialist with the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, said he talked to Ehnes recently and was heartened to hear she was open to some sort of regulation of health care premiums, a priority for the group.... more


Belleville News-Democrat - Mar 24, 2004   
Author of measure to discuss regulation
Rosenfield said California\'s malpractice insurance premiums dropped 20 percent after passage of Proposition 103, but opponents claimed it was a coincidence.... more


Los Angeles Times - Mar 24, 2004   
Patients' Right to Sue HMOs Before High Court;
The White House wants a Texas healthcare law, signed by then-Gov. Bush, to be voided.
"There's only been a few cases. But we passed it as a hammer to hold over the heads of the HMOs," said Jamie Court, president of FTCR in Santa Monica. "If the court goes the wrong way, it will be a real setback for patients' rights."... more


Los Angeles Times - Mar 18, 2004   
Plan to Cut Drug Prices Proposed;
L.A. councilman suggests city residents could join consortium to buy medicine in bulk.
The proposal would create a nonprofit consortium that city residents, employees and small businesses could join for a fee. The consortium in turn would negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to buy selected prescription drugs at lower prices... more


San Jose Mercury News (California) - Mar 18, 2004   
LA councilman and consumer group examining plans to lower drug costs for locals
One possible model would establish a nonprofit entity to buy the drugs in large quantities from independent wholesalers, said Jerry Flanagan, health care director for FTCR, which is working with the councilman.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Mar 17, 2004   
HEALTH PREMIUMS SOAR;
EMPLOYERS PASS ON MORE OF COST TO WORKERS
"Premiums keep going up because of the huge profits and administrative costs these insurers are taking," said Jerry Flanagan, advocate on health-care reform for FTCR. "Furthermore, premiums are increasing 250 percent faster than medical inflation."... more


Lexington Herald Leader (Kentucky) - Mar 12, 2004   
House hears testimony on malpractice bill
Harvey Rosenfield testified that a different bill, Proposition 103, and not MICRA, was responsible for stabilizing malpractice premiums in California. He presented a chart showing that premiums continued to rise after MICRA was enacted in 1975... more


National Public Radio (NPR) - Talk of the Nation - Mar 10, 2004   
Web sites that blacklist patients who have filed medical malpractice lawsuits
Jamie Court (FTCR): "If someone was an innocent victim of medical negligence and filed a case--doesn't matter if they won, lost, whatever--that doctors could then look them up on DoctorsKnow.Us and not treat them."... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Mar 07, 2004   
NUMBER OF BOGUS HEALTH INSURANCE ISSUERS PROLIFERATING
"The problem is that the rise in unlicensed plans is a symptom of the affordability crisis in the California market," said Jerry Flanagan, health care advocate FTCR in Santa Monica. "And oftentimes there is no promise for health care savings."... more


San Jose Mercury News (California) - Mar 06, 2004   
Critics fear patient blacklist;
DOCTORS CAN TRACK LAWSUITS AT SITE
"What's to prevent doctors from using the database to deny patients medical care?", asked Doug Heller of the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, which along with a similar group, Texas Watch, condemned the site Friday.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Mar 04, 2004   
Universal coverage backed;
Report finds varied reasons for high cost
While participants disagree on potential solutions, there is general consensus that the health care system needs more financial transparency - people need to know how much health care services cost, and the profits and overhead of the companies providing... more


Alameda Times-Star (Alameda, CA) - Mar 03, 2004   
Temperature rising: Kaiser's income soars;
2003 revenue up despite membership drop
"I'm flabbergasted that a nonprofit could make this kind of money," said Jamie Court, president of FTCR. "For a nonprofit like Kaiser to have almost $1 billion left over is a tribute to the fact that there is no premium regulation."... more


Bests Review - Mar 01, 2004   
Big, better, best? Even as some insurers gain national size through mergers and acquisitions, competition is still a local battle
Some consumer groups fear that fewer players in the marketplace will lead to fewer consumer choices and higher costs for all. Providers fear growing health insurers will gain greater negotiating muscle.... more


The Tennessean - Feb 29, 2004   
Frist family business
FTCR, a consumer group, went after Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist on the malpractice insurance issue last week, saying it created a conflict of interest for the surgeon from Nashville.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Feb 27, 2004   
Proposed health care mega-merger gets OK from nation's regulators
The FTC's decision "is more bad news for patients," said Jerry Flanagan, health care reform advocate with FTCR. "Although HMOs argue that consolidation in the industry means greater efficiency, we've only seen premiums increase because of this."... more


The Los Angeles Times - Feb 25, 2004   
BOOK REVIEW; An economist prescribes 'Strong Medicine';
The problem is that Cutler wrote the book for the system's engineers, not for its travelers. A player in Bill Clinton's healthcare reform efforts, Cutler has insight to offer reformers, but less to give to average families trying to deal with their health... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Feb 23, 2004   
Tenet sale may lead to mandate of incentives for buyers
"The likely people who will take over these hospitals are non-profits. I am interested in what is the biggest obstacle in keeping them open," said Jerry Flanagan, of the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Feb 18, 2004   
Medicine's northern exposure;
Government begins campaign against drugs from Canada
Jerry Flanagan, with FTCR, said the California Pharmacists Association stands to lose business from online pharmacies. "Seniors need to know that the pharmacies have a financial interest in the outcome of this debate."... more


Sacramento Bee - Feb 18, 2004   
FDA: Drug research at risk
Importing prescriptions from Canada could curtail development of medicines
"You have to question why the FDA is siding with drug makers and pharmacists who have a huge financial interest in keeping drug imports illegal," said Jerry Flannagan with the Foundation for Consumer and Taxpayer Rights.... more


Charlotte Observer (North Carolina) - Feb 18, 2004   
N.C. BOARD TARGETS CANADIAN DRUGS;
COMPANY TOLD TO STOP ITS PRESCRIPTION SERVICE
\"Pharmacists lose business when people in North Carolina use mail-order and Internet services to buy drugs,\" said Jerry Flanagan, spokesman for the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Charlotte Observer (North Carolina) - Feb 18, 2004   
N.C. BOARD TARGETS CANADIAN DRUGS;
COMPANY TOLD TO STOP ITS PRESCRIPTION SERVICE
\"Pharmacists lose business when people in North Carolina use mail-order and Internet services to buy drugs,\" said Jerry Flanagan, spokesman for the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Press Enterprise (Riverside, CA) - Feb 15, 2004   
CONTROLLING MEDICAL COSTS; TIME LINE OF MAJOR REFORMS
* In October 2003, Gov.  Davis signs SB-2 into law, requiring businesses with 200 or more employees to provide health coverage - and pay 80 percent of premiums by January 2006. Companies with as few as 20 employees must comply by 2007.... more


Reno Gazette-Journal - Feb 15, 2004   
Special Report - DOCTOR DISCIPLINE - State medical watchdogs keeping public in the dark
6-month probe reveals Nevada among nation's worst in doctor discipline, even when board inflates statistics.
"Consumers have a right to know about a doctor's full record, including malpractice claims and settlements," said Carmen Balber, director of the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Press Enterprise (Riverside, CA) - Feb 15, 2004   
SPECIAL REPORT: CONTROLLING MEDICAL COST; HEALTH IN THEIR HANDS;
Self-directed medical coverage plans encourage management of expenses, reductionof controllable risks


Sacramento Bee - Feb 13, 2004   
Bills target drug prices
The measures include helping patients and the state buy from Canada.
California lawmakers on Thursday introduced a package of bills designed to curb prescription costs, in part by leveraging bulk government purchases and in part by helping patients and state agencies buy medicine from Canada.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Feb 11, 2004   
A Son Crusades for Mom;
Chant Yedalian lost his mother to breast cancer, then went to law school to pursue a legal battle against her HMO, which says it did all it could.
Jamie Court, president of FTCR in Santa Monica, says that \"bottom line, this could mean that a very determined son has found an escape hatch for the private justice system that has never worked appropriately for patients.\"... more


The Los Angeles Times - Feb 10, 2004   
L.A. Urged to Buy Drugs From Canada;
Councilman says the U.S.-made pills are cheaper there and could save city millions.
Zine said his proposal had the backing of other City Council members as well as Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


The Orange County Register (California) - Feb 01, 2004   
Tenet sale a sign of times;
Big chains that have gobbled up smaller hospitals are now finding them less attractive.
"In the whole state there has been a shrinking capacity," Jamie Court said. "Chains like Tenet have come in and then downsized to maximize their profits. This is not about excess capacity. This is about making enough money."... more


Alameda Times-Star - Jan 31, 2004   
OP-ED: Arnold needs to terminate rapid rise in health care costs
The inescapable conclusion: The health care delivery system in California is putrid and decayed. It is sucking the life out of patients. It needs a strong leader to fix it.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jan 23, 2004   
Bill Would Open Door for Drugs;
Senate leader Burton will offer legislation requiring the state to consider buying cheaper pharmaceuticals from Canada.
Consumer advocates welcomed Burton\'s proposal. \"It\'s the right proposal at the right time, but the state needs to look at health insurance rates and hospital costs as well,\" said Jerry Flanagan of FTCR in San Francisco.... more


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania) - Jan 22, 2004   
CAPS AREN'T THE CURE;
THESE STEPS ARE NEEDED TO END THE MALPRACTICE INSURANCE CRISIS
"Caps themselves had no effect other than to further line the pockets of insurance companies," said Carmen Balber, a consumer advocate with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in California.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jan 15, 2004   
More Workers Are Likely to Retire Without Company Health Benefits
"This is a retreat from the promise that companies have made to workers since World War II," said Jamie Court, president of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica. "It's an abrogation of a social contract."... more


Troy Record - Jan 12, 2004   
Drug train looks to get lawmakers on board
The Rx Express will be rolling through the Capital District this week en route to Canada to purchase cheaper prescription drugs.... more


Modern Healthcare - Jan 12, 2004   
Blues boom; Anthem, WellPoint deal proceeds despite challenges
Consumer group challenges merger
Concerns voiced by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in November 2003 called on the FTC to investigate the merger on the grounds that it would unfairly enrich executives at the expense of members.... more


Modern Healthcare - Jan 12, 2004   
Blues boom; Anthem, WellPoint deal proceeds despite challenges
Consumer group challenges merger
Concerns voiced by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in November 2003 called on the FTC to investigate the merger on the grounds that it would unfairly enrich executives at the expense of members.... more


Contra Costa Times (California) - Jan 08, 2004   
Letters: Curb medical costs
FTCR has called on the Legislature and governor to keep SB2 and make the system affordable for consumers and business owners by cracking down on profiteering and waste.... more


The Californian (Salinas, CA) - Jan 07, 2004   
Share your health care story
FTCR has called on the Legislature and governor to keep SB2, and make the system affordable for consumers and business owners by cracking down on profiteering and waste.... more


The Orange County Register (California) - Jan 02, 2004   
Investigation into Chambi continues;
Patients look to Medical Board for clarity on doctor who's lost or given up privileges at 3 O.C. hospitals.
"This is not a proactive board. Their interpretation of the rules is compromised," said Court, who is executive director of FTCR. "It's really frightening that the public isn't being protected. If a hospital goes to the extraordinary step of taking... more


The Orange County Register (California) - Dec 20, 2003   
Embattled surgeon wins case
A jury decides Dr. Israel Chambi wasn't negligent in case of leaking post-op spinal fluid.
Jamie Court, director of FTCR, said that if juries are not allowed to hear evidence bearing on a doctor's credibility -- such as details of legal verdicts or discipline by hospitals -- they will tend to believe the doctor over the plaintiff.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Dec 19, 2003   
A Skybox Reality -- No Cash, No Arnold
With a dozen or so people in each box representing various interests, Schwarzenegger -- isn\'t he the guy who said he didn\'t need anybody\'s money? -- stood to clear as much as $1 million.... more


BestWire - Dec 18, 2003   
SCPIE WITHDRAWS CALIFORNIA RATE INCREASE REQUEST


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Dec 09, 2003   
Who will profit from Medicare reform?
Some Democrats have already discussed introducing moderating legislation, but it\'s not likely to hold the day, unless it helps the medical-insurance complex make more money. The clear signal from Capitol Hill is that benefiting sellers, not seniors, is w... more


CNN-TV - WOLF BLITZER REPORTS - Dec 03, 2003   
Medical matters that could affect your next trip to the doctor.
Where did the nation\'s first challenge to medical malpractice insurance rate hikes take place? The answer, California. The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a California nonprofit organization, made the first ever consumer group challenge ear... more


United Press International (UPI) - Nov 24, 2003   
Study: HMOs take money from patient care
New research indicates the nation's six largest HMOs increase their earnings and profitability by dramatically cutting the amount they spend on medical care. The study, released Monday by FTCR, indicates patients spent more for less coverage.... more


Press Enterprise (Riverside, CA) - Nov 18, 2003   
CONTEST ENCOURAGES CALIFORNIA REFORMS
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is sponsoring a contest to generate new ideas for removing waste and profiteering from the health-care system while not cutting back on programs or access to care.... more


Modern Healthcare - Nov 17, 2003   
Answering the Challenge
Groups start contests to help fix Healthcare system
The not-for-profit FTCR has launched a statewide contest seeking the best new ideas on how to remove "profiteering, waste and bloated administrative costs" from the healthcare system without cutting existing programs or limiting access to care.... more


Health & Medicine Week - Nov 17, 2003   
Merger would bring multimillion dollar windfall to WellPoint CEO
"Our insurance premiums should not be used to finance golden parachutes for company executives," said FTCR's Jerry Flanagan.... more


Associated Press - Nov 14, 2003   
Schwarzenegger names health care chief, deputy legal secretary
Some social advocates criticize Belshe for her performance in the Wilson administration. "She did everything she could to cut eligibility for disabled and poor children," said Jamie Court, executive director of FTCR.... more


Alameda Times-Star (Alameda, CA) - Nov 04, 2003   
Kaiser reports jump in income;
HMO says double-digit rate hikes to continue
"Kaiser's latest profit reports come at a time when skyrocketing premium rates are uninsuring the insured and creating incredible roadblocks for Californians who don't have access to care," said Jerry Flanagan, spokesman for FTCR.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Nov 04, 2003   
Justices to rule on HMOs;
Supreme Court takes on suits over denial of coverage
Jamie Court, president of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica, also welcomed the Supreme Court\'s decision to resolve what to date has been a patchwork of inconsistent state laws and lower court rulings.... more


The Houston Chronicle - Nov 04, 2003   
High court to consider Texas law on HMOs
In Washington, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights asked President Bush to speak on behalf of patients by sticking up for the Texas law.... more


Modern Healthcare - Nov 03, 2003   
Meet the new WellPoint;
Providers wonder how they and their patients will have to change to cope with the biggest managed-care merger to date.
"When an HMO CEO is handed a third of a billion dollars, patients will get shortchanged because there is less money for medical care," said Jerry Flanagan, an advocate at the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


The Indianapolis Star - Oct 31, 2003   
Merger will mean big bucks for execs;
WellPoint's boss could get $194 million; Anthem's will get much less but do well.
Jamie Court said his group FTCR, which has fought similar health company mergers in the past and will oppose this one, plans to raise the issue of Schaeffer's potential windfall in regulatory hearings on the merger that may be held in California.... more


Associated Press - Oct 30, 2003   
Merger would bring multimillion dollar windfall to WellPoint CEO
Schaeffer\'s compensation is drawing criticism from the Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based nonprofit consumer advocacy group wants state and federal regulators to intervene in the merger.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Oct 30, 2003   
WELLPOINT'S CEO MAY REAP RICHES;
POTENTIAL WINDFALL RAISES QUESTIONS
"When a chief executive officer is handed that much money, patients get short changed because there is less money for medical care," said Jerry Flanagan, consumer advocate for Santa Monica-based The Foundation For Taxpayer & Consumer Rights.... more


Sacramento Bee - Oct 28, 2003   
Deal in works to form largest U.S. health plan
Even in markets where the newly merged health plan would get an upper hand in negotiations with hospitals, doctors and drug companies, it does not necessarily mean that insurance premiums would decrease or consumers would pay less... more


The Tallahassee Democrat - Oct 26, 2003   
Options eyed for high insurance costs;
Maine, California provide models for universal coverage
"It's the biggest thing in health care since Medicare or Medicaid. It requires employers to buy health care for employees," said Jerry Flanagan, an advocate with FTCR in California. "It will provide health insurance for a million more people."... more


Washington Post - Oct 24, 2003   
Schwarzenegger, Davis Talk of Transition
Sacramento Trip Includes Discussions With Governor and State Lawmakers


San Jose Mercury News (California) - Oct 23, 2003   
Health executive to be chief of staff for Schwarzenegger
Mary Anne Ostrom and Ann E. Marimow; Mercury News
Some consumer advocates are worried about her HMO ties. Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said, \'\'An HMO lobbyist does not deserve to be a leading part of an administration that has pledged to stand up to special interest... more


Contra Costa Times (California) - Oct 23, 2003   
Wilson aide & HMO Lobbyist named chief of staff for Schwarzenegger
\"HMO lobbyists should not be part of an administration that pledged to govern for the people, not for special interests ...\" said a statement issued by The Foundation For Taxpayer And Consumer Rights.... more


Sacramento Bee - Oct 23, 2003   
On 'fun' day, fast action pledged In a state Capitol visit, Schwarzenegger spells out an ambitious agenda.
Not everyone was pleased, however. Patricia Clarey's last job was V.P. for government relations at Health Net Inc., a large Los Angeles-based health maintenance organization, and a consumer group took strong exception to the appointment.... more


Orange County Register (California) - Oct 23, 2003   
Clarey worked for Gov. Wilson;
Schwarzenegger selection as chief of staff is considered a straight shooter by some, but consumer advocates object.
Some consumer advocates are worried. Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said: \'\'An HMO lobbyist does not deserve to be a leading part of an administration that has pledged to stand up to special interests.\'\'... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Oct 22, 2003   
HMO PROFITS RISING AGAIN; PREMIUM INCREASES MAY FUEL 16% GAIN
Jaime Court, president of The Foundation For Taxpayer & Consumer Rights in Santa Monica said, \"The supermarket and mass-transit strikes are the ripple effects of the excesses and greed of an insurance industry that has bought Sacramento.\"... more


CBS-TV Evening News (6:30 PM ET) - Oct 22, 2003   
Insurance companies using incentives to encourage members to become healthier
Mr. COURT: This is very much, I think, a marketing strategy to attract the best risks. But what does that mean for the people who are sick or older or chronically ill?... more


The Los Angeles Times - Oct 21, 2003   
HMO Exec a Top Candidate for Schwarzenegger Chief of Staff;
Patricia T. Clarey, now with Health Net, also worked in the Wilson administration. She is seen as no-nonsense manager.
Jamie Court of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica blasted the potential selection, calling Health Net "among the most unfriendly HMOs."... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Oct 13, 2003   
Health insurance bill's passage could spur rate cap proposal
Following enactment of SB 2, the state's landmark play-or-pay health insurance law, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is considering an initiative that would subject California HMOs to the tightest rate regulations in the nation.... more


San Jose Mercury News - Oct 11, 2003   
Health care law may go to voters
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WANTS TO REPEAL MANDATE
Jerry Flanagan, a consumer advocate with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, called on the chamber \"to stop fighting a bill\" that Californians want and need.... more


Orange County Register (California) - Oct 09, 2003   
Speaker blames drug companies;
Says consumers need to 'fight back'
In a Sept. 17 address to a People for a National Health Program, keynote speaker Jamie Court claimed that the most profitable industry in the nation is the pharmaceutical industry "at a time when many consumers are unable to afford its products."... more


Associated Press - Oct 09, 2003   
Business group seeks referendum on bill mandating health coverage
"Clearly, Californians need and want health care, and the chamber should accept that and join with us to make it more affordable by supporting cost controls such as insurance rate regulation, hospital and physician rate caps," Jerry Flanagan of FTCR. ... more


BestWire - Oct 06, 2003   
CALIFORNIA'S DAVIS SIGNS 'PAY OR PLAY' HEALTH BILL
The Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights says Hawaii's 30-year experience with a similar "pay or play" system indicates the state's next step ought to be enacting cost-control legislation for the health-care market.... more


Associated Press - Oct 05, 2003   
Davis signs bill requiring health insurance for workers
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a consumer advocacy group, welcomed the bill, but said the state must regulate health insurance premiums and doctors\' rates to make the plan work.... more


KPBS Radio - SAN DIEGO, CA - Oct 01, 2003   
Worker's Health Insurance Bill Benefits Argued
Jamie Court directs the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. He thinks the measure is a good idea. But Court says it's missing an important element. Controlling costs of coverage...... more


The Los Angeles Times - Oct 01, 2003   
Governor Expected to Sign Health Bill;
Measure would require more employers to provide insurance.
The nonprofit FTCR, which supports the bill but has been highly critical of its failure to include direct cost controls, urged Davis on Tuesday to sign the measure, but also asked him to "commit" to find ways to limit prices paid to doctors and hospitals... more


The Oakland Tribune - Sep 29, 2003   
Devil in details of state health care mandate
Jamie Court, executive director of FTCR, a consumer advocacy group, said an unlikely alliance between consumers and business could form over the mandate. Court worries that employers might refrain from hiring new workers - full and part time - to avoid th... more


CBS-TV Evening News (6:00 PM ET) - Sep 21, 2003   
Contest between brand-name drugs and cheaper generics
Mr. JAMIE COURT (Health-Care Advocate): What patients may see is less out-of-pocket costs because they would have paid more for a brand-name than a generic.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Sep 19, 2003   
New rules for hospitals raise some concerns
"It is clearly giving hospitals some fudge room to cut back on taking people in, keeping them there and having an ample network of specialists ready to meet people's needs," said Jamie Court, executive director of FTCR.... more


United Press International - Sep 17, 2003   
Commentary: California insurance squeeze
\"The plan\'s fatal flaw is the absence of cost controls,\" the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said in an op-ed piece in Wednesday\'s Los Angeles Times.... more


BestWire - Sep 17, 2003   
CALIFORNIA HEALTH BILL MUST TRAVERSE TOUGH ROAD TO SET PRECEDENT
FTCR supports the goal of expanding health coverage, Court said, but insists that without controls on costs, the measure would simply lead to even more onerous burdens imposed on employees.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Sep 17, 2003   
Commentary: State Must Take All Its Medicine for Flawed Health Plan to Work
If California is to become a national model for establishing employer-based health coverage, the Legislature must rein in costs so that employers and employees -- who pay 20% of the cost -- can actually afford the product they\'re being required to buy.... more


American Health Line - Sep 17, 2003   
CALIFORNIA: NEW YORK TIMES LOOKS AT DEBATE OVER 'PLAY-OR-PAY' BILL
- Although the bill is "good in theory," its "fatal flaw is the absence of price controls," Jamie Court, executive director of the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Sep 16, 2003   
Insurance bill has hefty price tag;
Measure may violate federal regulations
"States are allowed to regulate insurance, but this mandates benefits for a whole class of large employers with businesses in other states," said Jamie Court, of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a consumer watchdog group. ... more


San Mateo County Times - Sep 16, 2003   
Generic drug makers to offer coupons
Jamie Court of the advocacy group Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights, which has been critical of insurance company profits and spiraling health care costs, said the program doesn\'t get to the heart of the problem.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Sep 15, 2003   
Health Plans Begin Drive for Generic Drugs;
Four insurers serving 15 million Californians seek to convert their members from costlier brand-name medicines.
Jamie Court, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which has been a strong critic of health maintenance organizations, praised the campaign as a step in the right direction.... more


American Health Line - Sep 15, 2003   
CALIFORNIA: HEALTH PLANS TO OFFER COUPONS FOR GENERIC RX
Jamie Court, executive director of the Santa Monica, Calif.-based consumer advocacy group Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, added, \"I think it\'s an interesting program because it is a way of trying to combat the influence of pharmaceutical ma... more


The Los Angeles Times - Sep 14, 2003   
Legislature OKs Small Business Health Coverage;
Beginning in 2006, employers would be required to provide insurance coverage to 1 million of the state's working poor.
However, Jerry Flanagan, lobbyist for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, charged that the bill provided no cost controls for either the employer or employee. He said limits should be set on the rates of insurers, hospitals and physicians.... more


The Orange County Register - Sep 14, 2003   
Midnight in the state Capitol
2003 legislative session ends with bills being voted on into the wee hours.
Of the 2,867 new laws that legislators proposed back in January, about 100 remain to be dealt with by midnight, the official end of the 2003 legislative session. The procrastination-induced fury that will transpire this day is a once-a-year ritual... more


National Public Radio (NPR) Morning Edition - Sep 12, 2003   
California health reform
Jamie Court, who directs the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, says there\'s one huge weakness: The proposal doesn\'t include any mechanism to control costs.... more


The Monitor (Tribune Business News) - Sep 12, 2003   
McAllen, Texas, Doctors Look to California for Medical Malpractice Cap Effect
"Caps have no effect other than to further line the pockets of insurance companies," said Carmen Balber, a consumer advocate with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in California.... more


CONTRA COSTA TIMES - Sep 10, 2003   
Health coverage bill advances
Although the bill caps the percentage of costs passed onto workers at 20 percent, it doesn\'t fully protect against escalating premiums and doesn\'t address copays and deductibles, said Jerry Flanagan of FTCR.... more


The San Diego Union Tribune - Sep 10, 2003   
Employee health costs rise painfully fast
"While health-care costs are soaring, premiums are increasing at a much greater rate," said Jerry Flanagan, health-care advocate with FTCR, who added that almost every publicly traded HMO has recorded a profit increase in the last two quarters.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Sep 09, 2003   
Measure Calls for Health Benefits;
Landmark legislation would require state's employers to buy insurance for workers.
"The potential sea change is to the level of the 1996 energy deregulation in California," said Jerry Flanagan of Santa Monica-based FTCR, which supports universal health care but believes the Burton program lacks adequate controls.... more


Insurance Chronicle - Sep 08, 2003   
West Zone: California Orders MedMal Cuts
The ruling was in response to the first-ever consumer group challenge to a medical malpractice insurance rate hike request, brought by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR), a California nonprofit organization.... more


Charleston Gazette (West Virginia) - Sep 07, 2003   
Everybody at risk - Uninsured in W.Va.
Government gets big drug discounts you can't get: 50 to 4,000% off - VA prices make Canada look expensive
"Veterans deserve low prices, but surely, the government can do a better job of regulating the price for everybody else. All consumers deserve lower prices.", said Jerry Flanagan of The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Houston Chronicle - Sep 07, 2003   
NO CURE: Prop. 12 is a misdiagnosis for Texas Constitution
A $250,000 cap was instituted in California in 1975. However, malpractice rates continued to rise. They went up 450 percent over the next 13 years, according to the Los Angeles-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


The Sacramento Bee - Sep 06, 2003   
Care worker charged with sexual battery on two hospital patients;
Police say others may have been attacked while being prepared for surgery.
"People don't always report it or they don't know they're victimized. It's far more common with doctors than hospital workers, and it doesn't occur in hospitals as much as in examination rooms," said Court, author of the book, "Making a Killing."... more


The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA) - Sep 01, 2003   
Health-care revamp considered;
Bill would require some employers to provide workers with insurance
Jerry Flanagan, a spokesman for the left-leaning Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said he also believes that Davis is on the brink of announcing his support for the health-care bill.... more


BestWire - Aug 22, 2003   
'RECALL INSANITY' SPARKS HEALTH CARE REFORM DEBATE
"Whether or not politicians will take insurers, hospitals and doctors to task for skyrocketing health-care costs will determine the success of the reform debate," said FTCR consumer advocate Jerry Flanagan.... more


NBC-TV Today Show - Aug 07, 2003   
Problems with Medical Malpractice Suits
Jamie Court (FTCR): For health care, it's very important that we stand for this proposition that human life is priceless.... more


The Tennessean - Aug 05, 2003   
Ensuring better health?
Insurance companies enlist disease-management firms to assist chronically ill and trim costs, but some docs are skeptical
Jerry Flanagan of FTCR, a California-based advocacy group, says the information insurers collect through disease-management programs might be used as an excuse to deny people coverage if they were to try to change plans.... more


Press Enterprise (Riverside, CA) - Aug 05, 2003   
The unkindest cut : More patients and doctors avoid unnecessary surgery
Most overdone surgeries, Jamie Court of FTCR said, are "high-ticket items with the biggest price tags for the doctors and chains." His assessment echoes various studies that have reported similar findings.... more


Modern Healthcare - Aug 04, 2003   
No definitive answers; GAO report weakens some of docs' arguments
"The report undermines the argument that there is any silver-bullet solution in tort reforms and caps on damages,"' said Doug Heller, senior consumer advocate for the nonpartisan Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights in Santa Monica, Calif.... more


Charleston Gazette (West Virginia) - Aug 03, 2003   
Everybody at Risk Uninsured in W.Va. Insurance:
With & Without In West Virginia: 'We wanted to be different'
"The system that depends on health insurance that comes through the workplace is breaking down," said Jerry Flanagan, consumer advocate at FTCR. "A lot of small business owners genuinely want to offer insurance, but basically, the only thing they have... more


Alameda Times-Star (Alameda, CA) - Aug 02, 2003   
Kaiser sees rise in net income; HMO says premiums could rise next year
\"It\'s the height of hypocrisy that Kaiser is a nonprofit but recording record revenue while premiums to consumers increase 20 to 30 percent.\", said Jerry Flanagan, spokesman for FTCR... more


Physician Compensation Report - Aug 01, 2003   
Kaiser aims bonuses at group quality, satisfaction levels, individual longevity.
Pursuant to a January 2003 settlement of a lawsuit filed by the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, seeking disclosure of physician incentives, Kaiser\'s national office in Oakland, Calif., released information in July... more


BestWire - Jul 29, 2003   
GAO FINDS NO SINGLE CAUSE FOR HIGHER MEDICAL-LIABILITY PREMIUMS
The California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, however, said the GAO report called for no such cap and called on the insurance industry to open up its books to public scrutiny.... more


Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Florida) - Jul 18, 2003   
California dreamin';
Proponents of malpractice caps ignore another state's experience
What the California experience really proves, though, is that insurance regulation is the key to lowering premiums.... more


Orlando Sentinel - Jul 15, 2003   
INSURER: NO NEED FOR RATE REFORM
DURING A DAY OF TESTY TALK ON MALPRACTICE INSURANCE, AN EXECUTIVE SAID HIS FIRM STILL WOULD MAKE MONEY.
The head of the state's largest insurer for physicians defended sharp increases in medical-malpractice insurance rates and told a Senate committee Monday that his company doesn't need legislative reforms to remain profitable.... more


Modern Healthcare - Jul 14, 2003   
Group questions Frist's HCA ties amid debate over tort reform
FTCR, a consumer advocacy group is asking Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn) to recuse himself from any action on the bill, saying his family's ties to the country's largest for-profit hospital chain make him a less than impartial observer... more


The New York Times - Jul 11, 2003   
Senate Becomes O.K. Corral For a Surgeon and a Lawyer
Now that the Senate has blocked President Bush\'s plan to cap jury awards in medical malpractice cases, the battle will only intensify during next year\'s elections. At its essence, the fight comes down to doctors versus lawyers.... more


Press Enterprise (Riverside, CA) - Jul 10, 2003   
Senate rejects malpractice cap based on California model law
Consumer advocate Jamie Court attributes California's stable rates to Prop. 103. The measure included a one-time reduction of 20 percent for all types of insurance, including medical malpractice. It also froze insurance rates for a year.... more


Modern Healthcare - Jul 07, 2003   
Mixed reaction; Molina's IPO goes well, but not all observers cheer
"Molina has a record of diverting patient dollars to profits," said Jerry Flanagan, consumer advocate with the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, Santa Monica, Calif. "And that trend will become even more dramatic now that it's gone public."... more


Axcess Business News - Jul 07, 2003   
Careless or Less Care?
Kaiser's high profits give strong warning yet regulators appear to stand fast
Not only is Kaiser under public scrutiny for reporting high profits while raising costs to its members, but the HMO is also the focus of a number of ethical issues regarding treatment of their patients by placing profit over necessary health care.... more


The New York Times - Jul 06, 2003   
Short of Votes, Senate G.O.P. Still Pushes Malpractice Issue
On Thursday, a group (FTCR) that opposes Dr. Frist\'s position called on him to remove himself from the debate because he and his family own substantial investments that would benefit from limits on medical liability.... more


Alameda Times-Star (Alameda, CA) - Jul 05, 2003   
Op-Ed: Insurers must comply with Prop. 103
Why should great drivers who happen to live in challenged neighborhoods effectively subsidize lousy drivers who are lucky enough to live in better communities? It\'s all a matter of how insurers use ZIP codes to determine premiums.... more


The American Prospect - Jul 01, 2003   
Insurance Impunity
Harvey Rosenfield, president of the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, says when he originally read the Utah court\'s opinion, he thought State Farm would lose its license to practice in several states.... more


Philadelphia Inquirer - Jun 30, 2003   
California's malpractice-suit cap eyed in Pennsylvania Congress
"Prop 103 is the real deal," said Jamie Court, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica, which wrote 103. "MICRA is basically Milli Vanilli lip-synching."... more


Orange County Register (California) - Jun 25, 2003   
Survey lets patients rate, research hospitals
Ten facilities in O.C. take part in the evaluation and get average scores
Critics discredit the rating system, saying that a range of three stars does not reveal much about the severity of problems in hospitals. The report authors said the survey should not be used as the sole tool to evaluate a hospital\'s performance.... more


The News & Advance (Virginia) - Jun 16, 2003   
Cost of Practicing Medicine Is Skyrocketing
Doug Heller, senior consumer advocate for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in California, said one of the factors should involve regulatory oversight of the insurance industry to stabilize the rates... more


The Tallahassee Democrat - Jun 08, 2003   
California gives insight on medical malpractice;
"The important part of Proposition 103 is consumers have the right to challenge," Heller said. He observed that by contrast, "Doctors don't have any tool to fight back against insurance companies, so they fight back against their patients."... more


San Jose Mercury News (California) - Jun 04, 2003   
Court case testing HMOs;
STATE AGENCY LOOKS TO REGULATE INSURERS' PRESCRIPTIONS COVERAGE
A long-running court case pitting the state's HMO watchdog agency against health insurer Blue Shield will continue after a recent ruling appeared to reinforce the agency's ability to regulate HMO prescription drugs but questioned whether it should apply... more


Modern Healthcare - Jun 02, 2003   
Pushing its proposal; Blue Shield of Calif. touts new wide-ranging plan
"Theirs is a bill designed by insurers for insurers, so it's not surprising that they're investing so heavily in promoting it," said Jerry Flanagan, director of the advocacy group's California Health Consensus Project.... more


Rochester Democrat and Chronicle - May 27, 2003   
Reduce medical errors to cut malpractice insurance rates
If doctors spent as much time lobbying their insurers and state agencies to hold negligent doctors accountable as they spend trying to limit victims\' rights, both doctors and patients would benefit.... more


Modern Healthcare - May 26, 2003   
Blues in the black; Earnings rise 43% as enrollment shoots up
\'\'The Blues\' record profits are being fueled by skyrocketing premiums,\'\' said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, Santa Monica, Calif., which is sponsoring a bill to require California insurers to gain state approval befo... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - May 23, 2003   
Aetna to settle suit filed by physicians;
Health plan agrees to pay doctors faster, ease authorizations
Leading health insurer Aetna Inc. yesterday agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by 700,000 physicians by promising to pay them faster and remove authorization burdens the doctors said delayed and even harmed patient care.... more


San Jose Mercury News (California) - May 22, 2003   
State to consider energy bill changes;
BIG USERS MAY BE ALLOWED TO SHOP AROUND
Big power users such as universities and manufacturing plants may be gaining ground in an effort to bring back one of the most controversial pieces of the state\'s energy deregulation experiment: the ability to buy power on the open market. ... more


Philadelphia Inquirer - May 22, 2003   
West Coast answer is seen as model malpractice system
Consumer advocates and trial lawyers say MICRA is less effective than insurance changes passed in 1988 under Proposition 103, a ballot initiative that requires insurers to justify premium increases.... more


Newsday (New York) - May 21, 2003   
Rx for Lawsuit Pain?;
Docs rally for laws setting limits on malpractice awards
But if the $250,000 cap on pain and suffering were the law of the land, families trying to recover noneconomic damages would have a hard time finding a lawyer to take cases, even if there were gross negligence, according to FTCR... more


Orange County Register (California) - May 18, 2003   
Surgeon pulls in revenue at a price
Western Medical bills $38 million a year for neurosurgery, but lawsuits charge Dr. Israel Chambi with operating unnecessarily.
The chief of neurosurgery at the largest center for head trauma in Orange County has been accused repeatedly of performing unnecessary surgeries, making grave errors in the operating room and lying to patients.... more


OC Weekly (Orange County, CA) - May 16, 2003   
Nursing A Grudge
Nader Says Health Care Has New Enemy: Big Labor
In a statement issued on behalf of the California Nurses Association (CNA), Nader says the deal is the latest example of big unions signing "backroom deals" with questionable health-care corporations at the expense of the greater public good.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 16, 2003   
Health Care as a Winner
The Democratic presidential candidates have figured out that universal health care is now a winning hand. They just have to figure out how to play it.... more


Orlando Sentinel (Florida) - May 14, 2003   
TO SOLVE MALPRACTICE-INSURANCE CRISIS, ROLL BACK RATES, NOT RIGHTS
Backers, including Gov. Jeb Bush, insist caps will lower insurance premiums. But the experience in California shows that the only way to cut premiums is to regulate insurance company profits and expenses.... more


Associated Press - May 13, 2003   
Plan to require state approval for increases in trouble
"This bill is really designed for the self-employed people, small business employers and retirees who don't have health benefits. They don't have the same huge market leverage that really large employers do," said Jerry Flanagan with FTCR.... more


Asbury Park Press (New Jersey) - May 11, 2003   
Physicians see conflict, feel betrayed
Lawsuits Filed
Attorneys have joined with consumer advocacy groups nationwide to fight liability limits, saying such limits would harm children, elderly, female and disabled patients most, since they are less likely to be reimbursed for lost wages - a significant compon... more


Los Angeles Times - May 05, 2003   
Rights on HMOs little used
Survey finds patients and doctors are unaware of a state law granting independent appeals of insurer decisions.
Most Californians remain unaware of their rights to appeal medical coverage decisions, and many of those who have used the review program believe it is skewed in favor of their health plans, according to a study released last week.... more


Associated Press State & Local Wire - May 05, 2003   
HMO that serves Medicaid patients criticized for hefty profits
Molina Healthcare Inc., one of the nation's most profitable HMOs that serves Medicaid patients, is under fire for hefty profit margins at a time when states are slashing health programs and as doctors claim they are losing too much money caring for Medic... more


Los Angeles Times - May 04, 2003   
HMO Criticized for High Profit From Low-Income Patients;
Some say Molina's hefty margins may come at expense of quality care. Supporters cite diverse coverage for its success.
But according to some health professionals, consumer advocates and independent reviews, Molina profits partly because its members don't see doctors when they should and may not complain when they are denied care.... more


Managed Care Week - Apr 28, 2003   
Health Plan Pushes Universal Care
Calls for universal coverage intensified last week, with proposals outlined by a nonprofit insurer, a presidential candidate and a health policy research group.... more


LA Daily News - Apr 25, 2003   
HMOs eye universal care
Blue Cross, Kaiser propose statewide plan
A proposal that insures the 6.6 million Californians who lack medical coverage would increase the cost of health care by $7.8 billion for businesses, individuals and the state, according to a study commissioned by Blue Shield of California.... more


Sacramento Bee - Apr 23, 2003   
Letters on Regulating Health Care
Those who pay skyrocketing HMO premiums cannot afford to be as incurious as Weintraub was in his column, in which he condemned legislators and consumer groups for sponsoring legislation that would require the HMOs to make their case to someone... more


Modern Healthcare - Apr 14, 2003   
Universal appeal; Although there's strong consensus on the need to provide healthcare coverage for all Americans, but that's where the agreement ends.
Some of the largest leaps to date have been made on the state level. California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Wisconsin all have universal coverage bills before their respective legislatures.... more


Hartford Courant (Connecticut) - Apr 13, 2003   
Malpractice Award Cap Seems Doomed
"People in Connecticut keep saying an award cap implemented in California resulted in lower rates, but that's not the case," said Doug Heller of the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Associated Press - Apr 11, 2003   
Briefs from the state Capitol - Med-Mal Caps
Douglas Heller, a consumer advocate with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in California, told lawmakers that insurance reform, not caps, ultimately lowered rates in his state.... more


BestWire - Apr 11, 2003   
CONSUMERS WANT HEALTH INSURERS TO GET RATE INCREASES APPROVED
Citing what they called "excessive and unfair health-care premiums" and high rates of uninsureds, consumer advocates are sponsoring a bill in the California Senate that would place health insurers into a prior-rate approval system.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Apr 10, 2003   
Bill would regulate health plan increases
California health care plans would have to seek government approval before raising rates under a bill unveiled this week at the state Capitol.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Apr 09, 2003   
State Approval of HMO, Insurer Rates Proposed;
Sen. Figueroa's bill targets 'excessive' health-care costs that she says mean no insurance coverage for thousands of residents.
In a new attack on steeply rising health-care costs in California, consumer advocates and senior organizations Tuesday demanded that insurance companies and health maintenance organizations submit to state approval before increasing their rates.... more


Sacramento Bee - Apr 09, 2003   
Health insurer hikes targeted;
A bill would require state approval to raise premiums.
Fifteen years after California voters required auto insurers to get state approval before raising rates, Democratic leaders Tuesday introduced a measure that would subject health insurers to similar scrutiny.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Apr 09, 2003   
Bill seeks cure for health care premiums;
Insurance hikes would need OK
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is sponsoring legislation introduced Tuesday that would require health insurers to gain state approval before raising premiums.... more


Oakland Tribune - Apr 09, 2003   
Bill would rein in increases to health insurance
With no relief in sight from rising health insurance costs, three lawmakers introduced a bill Tuesday requiring state approval before health insurance companies can increase premiums, co-payments, deductibles or other charges.... more


Contra Costa Times - Apr 08, 2003   
Bill may lower health care costs
State to consider legislation that would give it the power to restrict rate increases by health insurers
Aiming to halt the yearly hikes in health care premiums that are straining employers and individuals, California legislators will introduce today a bill to dramatically change the way rates are set by giving state regulators the power to veto excessive in... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Apr 08, 2003   
Bill seeks state say in HMO rate increases
The state's most powerful legislator is backing a proposal aimed at making health insurance more affordable without costing the cash-strapped state any money. The plan would require state approval of HMO rates for the first time.... more


SFGate.com / Associated Press - Apr 07, 2003   
Consumer advocates, Democrats eye state control on health insurance increases
A group of Democratic lawmakers and consumer advocates will propose legislation Tuesday to try to hold down skyrocketing health insurance costs by requiring state approval before insurers can raise their rates.... more


Oakland Tribune - Apr 07, 2003   
GOP covets state medical malpractice caps
As premiums rise, national Republicans would like federal law to emulate California's
Shimamoto said that she was told by the several malpractice lawyers she had a strong case, but because of the monetary limits to noneconomic damages, they would not take her on. "One lawyer told me, 'If it had been your face that was carved up I might b... more


Orange County Register - Apr 03, 2003   
Drug prices: why so high?
What you can do to bring them under control.
Jerry Flanagan of The Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights explained why American consumers pay the most for their prescription drugs and have to resort to buying out of the country to meet their medical needs.... more


Long Beach Press-Telegram - Apr 03, 2003   
HMOs must open up;
Justices rule that states can force health care plans to accept more doctors in network.
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that states can force HMOs to open up their doctor networks, upholding a practice used in about half the states to give patients broader health care choices. ... more


Sacramento Bee - Apr 03, 2003   
Ruling backs states' power over HMOs
In a unanimous opinion, the justices upheld a 1994 Kentucky law allowing HMO patients to seek treatment from doctors, hospitals, pharmacists or other caregivers outside a prescribed network as long as the provider agreed to accept the HMO's rates and... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Apr 03, 2003   
COURT: STATES CAN FORCE HMOS TO ACCEPT DOCTORS
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that states can force HMOs to open up their doctor networks, upholding a practice used in about half the states to give patients broader health care choices.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Apr 03, 2003   
Supreme Court Expands Right of States to Regulate HMOs;
The unanimous ruling upholds willing provider laws, which let group member go to physician not part of network. Calif. excluded because it doesn't have statute
Though California does not have such a law, Jamie Court, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica, called the ruling a victory for consumer regulation of the HMO industry.... more


Modern Physician - Apr 01, 2003   
Under the MICRAscope; Caps on noneconomic damages intensely debated, little understood
..even as Congress and many states consider enacting MICRA look-alikes, the 28-year-old California law is little understood and subject to intense debate on whether it keeps premiums in check or restricts patients\' rights.... more


Western Massachusetts Law Tribune - Apr 01, 2003   
Med Mal Caps Won't Solve Insurance Hikes
Clearly caps are unfair to those victims with loss of fertility, disfigurement, and other traumas, and they just don't work.... more


The Oregonian - Apr 01, 2003   
Misleading malpractice reform
California found that caps on noneconomic damages weren't enough to hold down premium increases. California set limits on increases in 1988 and enjoys some of the lowest malpractice premium rates in the country. ... more


Fort Collins Coloradoan - Mar 29, 2003   
No need to cap medical malpractice awards
With medical insurance costs amounting to only 3.2 percent of the average physicians expenses and with only 2 percent of people injured by physician\'s negligence, caps on medical malpractice suits would only inflate the checkbooks of insurance agencies a... more


The Journal News (New York) - Mar 28, 2003   
Limiting malpractice awards needs exception
Bipartisan efforts in Congress to cap portions of jury awards in medical malpractice suits hit a snag this week, and it\'s for the good. In any talk of a cap, exceptions in cases of egregious medical error and severe injury or death must be allowed if... more


Medical Post - Mar 25, 2003   
U.S. consumer watchdog takes aim at MD protest:
E-mails regarding february doctors' protest published
FTCR, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that has studied the medical malpractice crisis, said the doctors "have shown their real intention is not to protest insurance premium hikes but to terrorize patients, colleagues and the public"... more


Modern Healthcare - Mar 24, 2003   
To cap or not to cap;
Medical community lobbies for limits on noneconomic damages
The dual-track effort is a "cynical," back-door attempt to win support at any level for caps on damages that hurt victims of malpractice, said Jamie Court, executive director of the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Right... more


Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA) - Mar 21, 2003   
Patients to be able to check doctors on Web;
Washington, Idaho putting malpractice records online
Both states will soon unveil online databases that will include civil judgments from malpractice cases and disciplinary actions against doctors. But much information, such as any punishment handed out by state medical boards or out-of-court settlements, w... more


The Register Guard (Eugene, OR) - Mar 19, 2003   
Oregon Doctors Push Legislators for Malpractice-Insurance Relief
Doctors blame their rising insurance costs on greedy attorneys who, unhindered by a cap, are seeking bigger and bigger jury awards. Attorneys and consumer groups say arrogant doctors are acting in concert with the insurance industry to escape accountabili... more


Los Angeles Times - Mar 18, 2003   
COMMENTARY: Insurance 'Reform'? Consider the Source
Health-care profiteers aim to grow fatter by feeding off a crisis that has invaded the middle class.
Ultimately, if we really want to cover the uninsured, we're going to need a 2004 ballot initiative that gets past the "Kumbaya" spirit of "Cover the Uninsured" week to the question of who is to blame for the problem.... more


Spokane Spokesman Review - Mar 16, 2003   
Malpractice caps need to be studied
The Legislature needs to conduct a comprehensive study of the issue before altering the state constitution and diminishing the traditional role of juries in our justice system.... more


The New York Times - Mar 16, 2003   
MONEY & MEDICINE; For Patients, Unpleasant Surprises in Arbitration
More and more health care providers are pushing for binding arbitration -- in which an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators unconnected to a case hears arguments from both sides and renders a decision -- to reduce their costs.... more


Newsday (New York, NY) - Mar 16, 2003   
Quest For Answers; Renewed scrutiny of suspected medical errors
Studies say medical errors are endemic. Between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die in hospitals each year as a result of medical mistakes, more than those who die of car accidents, breast cancer or AIDS, according to a National Academy of Sciences\' Institut... more


Statesman Journal (Salem, OR) - Mar 15, 2003   
Malpractice debate heats up
Hearings look at how patients and doctors are affected.
Harvey Rosenfield, president of the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, will present evidence today showing how damage caps failed while insurance reform kept malpractice insurance premiums stable.... more


Los Angeles Times - Mar 14, 2003   
House Would Expand Malpractice Shield;
Under bill, hospitals, HMOs and others would also be protected from unlimited awards.
House passage marked a huge victory for the nation's doctors, but their battle for malpractice reform is far from over. Tort-reform measures always have a harder time in the Senate, and some Senate Republicans have said they are uncomfortable with... more


Orange County Register - Mar 13, 2003   
Leisure World group urges drug company boycott
Leisure World's People for a National Health Program urges residents to boycott the products of Glaxo Smith Kline because of the drug manufacturer's recent decision to stop providing its drugs to Canadian pharmacies.... more


TheStreet.com - Mar 12, 2003   
For Shareholders, More Pain to Come
In recent weeks, Medicare reform has re-emerged as a hot topic of national debate. Experts agree that coming changes will present fresh challenges for health care companies. But they remain divided on whether reform will ultimately hurt -- or help -- heal... more


The New York Times - Mar 12, 2003   
Lobbyists on Both Sides Duel in the Medical Malpractice Debate
For weeks, trial lawyers and consumer groups fighting against caps have been bringing malpractice victims to the Capitol -- including a 17-year-old girl whose face had been ruined by botched surgeries and a woman whose breasts had been removed unnecessari... more


Sacramento Bee - Mar 11, 2003   
Federal bill sets off alarm
Many in state fear HMO reform efforts will suffer.
As doctors nationwide press Congress to copy a California law that limits damages in malpractice lawsuits, many in California -- including the governor and the state medical society -- fear the federal legislation may undermine state HMO reform efforts.... more


Associated Press - Mar 11, 2003   
Lawmakers told damage caps ineffective
Measures to limit medical malpractice damage awards would make it difficult for victims to get just compensation and do little to reduce insurance costs, lawyers and malpractice victims told a House panel on Tuesday.... more


The New York Times - Mar 10, 2003   
Anatomy of a Strike: Doctors' E-Mail Shows Depth of Anger
A month after thousands of New Jersey doctors staged a work stoppage to protest rising malpractice insurance rates, a series of e-mail messages between doctors and protest organizers making those and other recommendations offers an intriguing glimpse into... more


Associated Press - Mar 10, 2003   
Doctors' e-mails suggested frustration before rallies, work stoppage
Some e-mails widely circulated among New Jersey doctors before last month's work slowdown urged them to "inconvenience patients" as they pushed lawmakers for help with rising malpractice premiums, says a California consumer group.... more


National Journals Technology Daily - Mar 10, 2003   
Consumer Group Releases Doctor E-mails Detailing Strike
In addition to plans of action, the e-mails also included messages that advised physicians to threaten wavering doctors with loss of referrals, the financial mainstay of many private practices.... more


Modern Healthcare - Mar 10, 2003   
The news keeps interfering with tort reform's big mo
Hard-core consumer activists sometimes spot conspiracies in unlikely places, but one California advocate says he has solid proof that the so-called medical malpractice insurance crisis is just that-a cynical ploy by doctors to line their pockets with a li... more


National Underwriter - Mar 10, 2003   
Malpractice Reforms Fail To Cure Some States' Premium Woes
Last week we reported on states where malpractice reforms succeeded in controlling costs. This week we review several states where reforms have not delivered all of their anticipated benefits.... more


USA Today - Mar 05, 2003   
Hype outraces facts in malpractice debate
Premiums are rising rapidly, but no more than other health care costs. They represent only a small slice of doctors' expenses. Even for the hardest-hit specialists, the most severe problems are concentrated in a handful of states.... more


The New York Times - Mar 05, 2003   
Malpractice Insurance: No Clear or Easy Answers
The greatest drops in premiums and, so far, the most consistent, did not come until after California adopted price controls in 1988, throwing into question the effects of the caps alone.... more


CNNFN-TV MARKET CALL - Mar 04, 2003   
Tough Call: Should There Be A Cap on Medical Malpractice Awards?
Healthcare reform is a hot-button issue today inside the Beltway. President Bush and lawmakers on Capitol Hill are confronting the soaring costs of medical malpractice insurance.... more


Insurance Chronicle - Mar 03, 2003   
Med-Mal Reform In Senate Doubtful
Harvey Rosenfield told the panel that a cap on liability awards, which has existed in California since 1975, would do more to improve insurers' bottom line than lower malpractice premiums and improve access to healthcare.... more


Florida Today - Mar 02, 2003   
Editorial - Medical Malpractice
While caps would lower insurance campanies' payouts, nothing would be done to restrict their ability to boost insurance premiums.... more


Knoxville News-Sentinel - Mar 02, 2003   
Transplant case stirs malpractice questions
Bill Frist, the only physician in the U.S. Senate, is hoping that his years of work to reform medical malpractice liability is not crushed by the death of 17-year-old botched transplant victim Jesica Santillan.... more


Managed Healthcare Executive - Mar 01, 2003   
Kaiser offers plan info, medical records online
Kaiser Permanente will let members and physicians have access to medical records and also provide members with key information about plan operations.... more


Multinational Monitor - Mar 01, 2003   
The Medical Malpractice Insurance Crisis Hoax;
The Corporate Drive for Legal Immunity
Applying a one-size-fits-all limit to non-economic damages objectifies and erases the person, considering them as a fixed "thing" for the purposes of law so that there is no recognition of the uniqueness of their suffering.... more


Managed Healthcare Executive - Mar 01, 2003   
Kaiser offers plan info, medical records online
Kaiser Permanente will let members and physicians have access to medical records and also provide members with key information about plan operations.... more


The Louisville Courier-Journal (KY) - Feb 25, 2003   
Award limits won't cut premiums
Malpractice report is 'shallow,' needs work, senator says
Limits on jury awards, which would be permitted by a proposed constitutional amendment supported by physicians, could raise but won't reduce doctors' malpractice insurance premiums, according to a draft study by the General Assembly's staff.... more


The Nashville City Paper - Feb 25, 2003   
Malpractice caps need to retain flexibility
Doctors who face mountainous malpractice insurance premiums because of over-the-top "pain and suffering" lawsuit awards should get relief. But we don't think a blanket cap of $250,000 is the answer.... more


Connecticut Law Tribune - Feb 24, 2003   
Med Mal Caps Won't Solve Insurance Hikes
It became apparent that caps did not succeed in lowering insurance rates, since just the opposite occurred. Punishment for insurers was swift and severe. In 1988, California voters passed Proposition 103, which rolled back and severely regulated insurance... more


The Seattle Times - Feb 21, 2003   
Pain vs. premiums: Who will pay the price in malpractice debate?
Doctors say soaring insurance rates drive them out of high-risk specialties; patients argue lawsuit limits would leave some vulnerable to substandard care.
Jennifer Rufer is a young woman from Spanaway who lost her childhood dream of becoming a mother when doctors, misdiagnosing her with cancer, cut out her uterus and part of a lung and dosed her with chemotherapy.... more


The Bulletin Frontrunner (Texas) - Feb 20, 2003   
Texas Legislature Launches Heated Debate On Medical Malpractice Reform.
Harvey Rosenfield of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights told a House panel that limiting damages to $250,000 would probably not solve the insurance crisis that Texas physicians want lawmakers to address.... more


The Dallas Morning News - Feb 20, 2003   
Panel tackles cap on damages;
High cost of medical malpractice insurance in Texas sparks debate
The Texas Legislature formally launched debate Wednesday over whether to place a cap on medical malpractice lawsuit judgments...... more


Fort Worth Star Telegram - Feb 20, 2003   
Critics say bill won't lower premiums
MALPRACTICE: Texas State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, and Rep. Joe Nixon, R-Houston, offer legislation to end "lawsuit lottery" by capping damages.
Harvey Rosenfield of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights told a House panel that limiting damages to $250,000 would probably not solve the insurance crisis that Texas physicians want lawmakers to address.... more


New Jersey Star-Ledger - Feb 19, 2003   
Avoid simplistic solutions to the malpractice crisis
Malpractice reform must leave us with a system that will do right by those who are harmed by mistakes, negligence or malpractice. It should reduce not only premiums and lawsuits but malpractice.... more


Associated Press - Feb 19, 2003   
Consumer groups say damages cap will not lower rates
A cap on damages awarded for pain and suffering in medical malpractice lawsuits likely won't reduce insurance rates for doctors, consumer groups warned state lawmakers Wednesday.... more


New Jersey Star-Ledger - Feb 18, 2003   
Doctors have put a cap on the truth
The demonstrating doctors have been playing a catchy but monotonous and thoroughly misleading tune about malpractice.... more


Miami Herald - Feb 18, 2003   
Malpractice insurance: no simple solutions
California's malpractice insurance rates continued to increase despite the 1975 limit and didn't drop until voters passed a 1988 ballot initiative that mandated rollbacks on premiums.... more


Los Angeles Times - Feb 17, 2003   
Kaiser Web Site will be just what the doctor ordered -- and why;
To settle a consumer rights group's lawsuit, Kaiser Permanente will make its guidelines available online.
These guidelines, based on scientific evidence about which treatments work and which don't, are the best tools patients have for improving the quality of their medical care.... more


Insurance Chronicle - Feb 17, 2003   
MedMal 'Crisis' Hill Action Heats Up, But Divisions May Send Issue To States
The issue of medical malpractice liability insurance premiums heated up in Washington last week as hearings on the issue were held in both houses of Congress and various special interest groups jockeyed to make their case to lawmakers.... more


Kansas City Star - Feb 16, 2003   
California Experience
There is an equal argument to be made that premiums in California actually didn't decline until 1988, when voters passed Proposition 103, which gave the state and voters new tools to investigate and limit the insurance industry's rates and practices.... more


The New York Times - Feb 16, 2003   
Medical Malpractice Mess Is One Huge Headache
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights showed up in Trenton to say that insurance reforms, not caps on jury awards, were responsible for restraining the growth in medical malpractice fees in California.... more


Sacramento Bee - Feb 16, 2003   
Ballot budgeting considered
Democrats say voters may be needed to do what lawmakers won't.
California's Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights wants to band together with other groups to change commercial property tax rules, particularly to spare health care programs targeted for deep cuts in the Davis budget.... more


Palm Beach Post - Feb 14, 2003   
Place No Cap On Reform
California's "successful experience," however, also included a voter-approved rollback of malpractice premiums. The Florida task force recommends nothing like that.... more


Associated Press - Feb 12, 2003   
Consumer groups say malpractice caps not best solution to crisis
The state should regulate insurance companies better and crack down on doctors who repeatedly commit malpractice to address ballooning malpractice premiums in New Jersey, consumer groups said Wednesday.... more


Philadelphia Inquirer - Feb 11, 2003   
Consensus was at a premium;
Rep. Greenwood held a hearing on increases in the cost of medical malpractice insurance.
"Noneconomic damage caps discourage private lawyers from taking legitimate malpractice cases," said Harvey Rosenfield, founder and president of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in California.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Feb 10, 2003   
Commentary; Damage Cap Adds Insult to Injuries;
State law cheats less-affluent victims of medical malpractice.
In other words, the law generously compensates the rich but turns injured patients who are less well off into victims a second time.... more


National Public Radio (NPR) Marketplace (6:30PM) - Feb 10, 2003   
National debate continues on nationwide cap on pain and suffering malpractice jury awards
... a cap on the non-economic side would have very little impact on the actual premium that a physician pays.... more


The Orange County Register - Feb 07, 2003   
House bill would put caps on malpractice awards
California already limits amount for pain and suffering, but not punitive damages.
However, it is expected to face stiff opposition in the Senate, where many Democrats insist that investment losses by insurance companies, not lawsuits, are to blame for the medical-liability problems.... more


Tom Paine - Feb 06, 2003   
Op-Ed: To Solve the Malpractice Insurance Crisis, Roll Back Rates, Not Rights
Thirty years of experience in the Golden State shows that stringent regulation of insurance companies, not restrictions on the right to sue negligent doctors and hospitals, is the only way to control the price medical providers pay for liability coverage.... more


National Public Radio(NPR) All Things Considered - Feb 05, 2003   
Cause of rises in medical malpractice insurance rates
At the rally today there were calls to cap jury awards in certain malpractice cases at $250,000. Those calls echo proposals by members of Congress and President Bush. Others say that's not the answer. NPR's Patricia Neighmond has this report.... more


Lexington Herald-Leader - Feb 04, 2003   
Regulators criticized over lack of oversight;
'COMMERCIAL LINE' GETS LESS ATTENTION
Kentucky doctors have complained for several years about ruinous insurance premiums. But only three weeks ago did Insurance Commissioner Janie Miller order insurers in Kentucky to disclose their premiums for malpractice coverage.... more


Modern Healthcare - Feb 03, 2003   
Leaving the line of fire; Ex-consumer activist Zelman exits as CAHP chief
"The CAHP hired a consumer advocate to give them credibility. But Wally didn't have enough stature to give credibility to a group that abuses so many patients," Rosenfield said. "I don't think anyone has that much stature.... more


The Palm Beach Post - Feb 02, 2003   
GIVE PRESCRIPTION, NOT PLACEBO
Bush, the Governor's panel, Florida's physicians, hospitals and insurance companies omit references to Proposition 103 when touting the effectiveness of noneconomic caps. In fact, nothing about California's experience suggests that limiting jury awards... more


American Health Line - Jan 29, 2003   
STATE OF THE UNION: AHL ROUNDS UP REACTIONS
Bush's anticipated proposal to privatize Medicare by "driving seniors to low-quality HMOs" in order to receive a prescription drug benefit will undermine access to basic health care services, says FTCR.... more


AM BestWire - Jan 29, 2003   
KAISER AGREES TO DISCLOSE PHYSICIAN GUIDELINES, COMPENSATION TO SETTLE SUITS
Kaiser Permanente said it would post clinical guidelines and its physician compensation structure on its public Web site as part of a settlement to end lawsuits with three consumer groups.... more


Canadian Business & Current Affairs Medical Post - Jan 28, 2003   
Bush: 'Frivolous and junk lawsuits' must end
Doctors across the U.S. take job action against skyrocketing insurance rates
FTCR was also on record as saying legislators should limit profiteering by malpractice insurers to reduce the malpractice premiums physicians pay, not restrict legal recovery by wronged patients.... more


Modern Healthcare - Jan 27, 2003   
A look inside; Settlement requires Kaiser Permanente to publish info on doc's decisionmaking
In what some healthcare experts are calling a landmark legal settlement, Kaiser Permanente has agreed to publish on its Web site detailed information on how its physicians make decisions about patient care.... more


American Health Line - Jan 24, 2003   
KAISER PERMANENTE: SETTLES FALSE-ADVERTISING SUIT WITH CONSUMER GROUP
Kaiser Permanente yesterday announced that it will disclose some of its internal operations as part of a settlement with a consumer group that alleged Kaiser engaged in false advertising in campaigns to recruit new members.... more


The Sacramento Bee - Jan 24, 2003   
Kaiser settles two lawsuits;
Accused of holding back on care, the HMO will post its treatment guidelines.
Kaiser Permanente agreed to make public the treatment guidelines its physicians follow and to disclose how they get paid as part of a settlement of two lawsuits that accused the HMO of misrepresenting how decisions about patient care were made.... more


The New York Times - Jan 24, 2003   
Large H.M.O. to Make Treatment Guidelines Public
Consumer advocates said the moves by Kaiser would push other managed care companies and medical groups to make similar disclosures regarding both treatments and doctors' compensation.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jan 24, 2003   
Kaiser Settles Lawsuit With Consumer Group;
State's largest HMO will post its medical care guidelines, doctors' pay structure on Web site.
As part of the settlement to the false-advertising and fraud lawsuit, Kaiser also agreed to step up physician recruitment and to encourage members to select personal physicians rather than seeing a different doctor on each visit.... more


Associated Press - Jan 23, 2003   
Kaiser to make disclosures of internal health care guidelines
Kaiser Permanente and consumer activists announced a legal settlement Thursday that will require the health care giant to disclose the guidelines and financial incentives that influence the medical decisions of its doctors.... more


CONTRA COSTA TIMES - Jan 23, 2003   
Kaiser settles suit with consumer groups
Signaling a more responsive attitude in its dealings with upset consumers, Kaiser Permanente Thursday announced a settlement with consumer groups that alleged the HMO had engaged in false advertising in recruiting new members.... more


USA TODAY - Jan 23, 2003   
Kaiser to reveal incentives for physicians
The agreement, announced Thursday, settles a lawsuit brought by several consumer groups that struck at the heart of the public's misgivings about managed care: the fear patient care is influenced by financial incentives.... more


Financial Times UK - Global Newswire - Jan 23, 2003   
KAISER PERMANENTE AND CONSUMER GROUPS AGREE TO LANDMARK PUBLIC DISCLOSURE
"Kaiser Permanente has set an important bar for public disclosure that other health plans should meet," said Jamie Court, executive director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


The San Diego Union Tribune - Jan 22, 2003   
California boy to be poster child for foes of Bush cap on malpractice suits
On Thursday, 12-year-old Olsen and his parents will speak out against the Republican president's plan by telling their story: How doctors in 1992 refused a test that could have diagnosed then-2-year-old Steven's brain abscess.... more


CNNFN - STREET SWEEP - Jan 22, 2003   
Experts Debate Relief from Rising Drug Costs
The lure of lower prices has led U.S. consumers to hop on buses headed north of the border, or to surf the Internet seeking out online pharmacies. Drugmakers and others say the practice is illegal and potentially harmful to consumers. However, not everybo... more


CNN; LOU DOBBS MONEYLINE - Jan 21, 2003   
Medical Malpractice Caps Proposed by Bush
JAMIE COURT, FOUNDATION FOR TAXPAYER & CONSUMER RIGHTS: It's not frivolous lawsuits that are driving this crisis. It's frivolous business practices by unregulated insurance companies and if we had better regulation, we'd take care of this problem.... more


Charleston Gazette - Jan 19, 2003   
California caps or Proposition 103? Lawyers, doctors debate what really brought malpractice insurance rates down
A California consumer group says insurance reform, not lawsuit caps, is responsible for a decline in the total amount state doctors paid in malpractice premiums.... more


The Sacramento Bee - Jan 17, 2003   
Bush likes California medical suit law
"The main cause of the current malpractice crisis can be found not in the courts but the insurance industry," said a letter Wednesday to the president. "The industry creates a 'malpractice crisis' whenever its investments do poorly."... more


The New York Times - Jan 17, 2003   
Bush Enters Fray Over Malpractice
But many experts cite other factors, including poor investment returns and the insurers' own business practices, for making significant contributions to the premium increases.... more


The Charleston Gazette - Jan 17, 2003   
Editorial - Insurance reform is real answer
Doctors would have legislators and others believe that this can all be attributed to malpractice tort changes. They conveniently forget that California passed Proposition 103 in 1988. That measure instituted insurance reform, not tort reform.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Jan 17, 2003   
Op-ed: In defense of defensive medicine
Let's lower auto insurance premiums by stopping lawsuits against drunk drivers, not by preventing drunk driving. This is the logic by which President Bush proposes to lower the medical malpractice premiums that doctors pay.... more


American Health Line - Jan 17, 2003   
MALPRACTICE: BUSH ANNOUNCES PLAN TO CAP JURY AWARDS, LIMIT LAWSUITS
An analysis conducted by the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights found that malpractice premiums in the state increased 175% between 1975 and 1985, but dropped 8% between 1988 and 2000, after the insurance laws were alter... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jan 17, 2003   
Bush Calls for Curbs on Medical Malpractice Suits;
Plan is viewed as a way to limit health costs. It would cap non-economic damages at $250,000, but stiff opposition is expected in Congress.
Critics of the proposal argue that a cap on compensation for a patient's "pain and suffering" would be unfair and allow poor medical practice to go unpunished.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jan 16, 2003   
Bush Back in Malpractice Debate;
President will renew the argument that limits on lawsuit payouts will curb medical costs.
Consumer advocates argue that at least some of the fault for the increase in premiums lies not with doctors, or with lawyers representing malpractice victims, but rather with lagging returns on insurance company investments.... more


United Press International - Jan 16, 2003   
Bush seeks medical malpractice reform
Groups representing trial lawyers and consumers were outraged, saying Bush's action would severely limit the rights of injured patients. They blame insurers for the current crisis.... more


CBS TV Evening News - Jan 16, 2003   
Bush Renews Call For Malpractice Caps
Consumer groups are also blasting the Bush plan, saying the insurance industry is to blame for raising premiums in the first place.... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Jan 13, 2003   
Health Casts
Is the time right in California to institute a prior approval system for health premium increases?
The Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights thinks the time right in California to institute a prior approval system for health premium increases.... more


LA Weekly - Jan 10, 2003   
THE BAD DOCTOR
Bill Frist's long record of corporate vices
While TV gushed last week over the Republicans' new Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, intervening in a traffic accident, portraying the former heart surgeon as a "Good Samaritan," in truth the GOP has simply replaced a racist with a corporate crook.... more


Charleston Gazette - Jan 08, 2003   
Malpractice speaker left out drug record
An Elkins doctor who testified to Congress last summer about his high medical malpractice rates didn't mention his conviction for cocaine possession in the 1980s. The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, is calling for Dr. Samuel Roberts to apolog... more


National Public Radio (NPR) Morning Edition - Jan 07, 2003   
Background of new Senate majority leader, Bill Frist of Tennessee
Frist projects a more modern image of the South and a more moderate image of his party. But not everyone believes that image reflects the reality of Frist's voting record and views. NPR's Andrea Seabrook reports.... more


The Hartford Courant - Jan 03, 2003   
DOCTORS PRACTICE UNDER PRESSURE;
MALPRACTICE COSTS STIFLING, SOME SAY
A walkout by West Virginia surgeons will increase pressure this year on state legislatures and Congress to try to control the rising cost of malpractice insurance, officials of medical associations said Thursday.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jan 02, 2003   
The Universal Approach: Affordability is basic in health-care reform
California needs a system-wide plan to resolve growing inequities in health care. One middle-ground solution would be a public-utility model, which would strictly regulate profiteering in health care to achieve universal coverage and cost-efficiency... more


The San Diego Union Tribune - Dec 27, 2002   
Frist Will Not Help Health Care's Ills
Unfortunately for the public, the doctor running the chamber, Sen. Bill Frist, typifies the GOP's new health-care strategy: care most about the health of corporations that elect you.... more


Gannett News Service - Dec 24, 2002   
Frist brings support for drug companies to majority leader job
Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist's official ascension Monday to Senate majority leader could end up helping drug companies.... more


USA TODAY - Dec 23, 2002   
Few question Tenn. senator's ability to lead Frist's toughness impresses members of both parties
Frist's father and brother founded what has become the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain, HCA. The company has created vast wealth for the Frist family. It also has been subject to the largest-ever federal fraud case;... more


Gannett News Service - Dec 23, 2002   
Senate Republicans drop Lott, elect Frist as their leader
Frist's family founded HCA, a major hospital chain known as Hospital Corporation of America when it began in 1968 that recently agreed to pay more than $880 million to settle claims of false claims, kickbacks and fraud.... more


The Sacramento Bee - Dec 22, 2002   
State health care bind: Fixing inequities can be expensive
Maria Teresa Quiej Alvarez and Andrew Willis symbolize the two extremes of California health care: Have and have-not. Got and can't get.... more


Chattanooga Times/Chattanooga Free Press - Dec 22, 2002   
Attention on Sen. Frist turns to issues, his ties to HCA
Sen. Frist's likely election to the majority leader post already is raising new questions about his ties to HCA. The chain was founded by his father and is now run by his brother, Thomas Frist.... more


City News Service - Dec 20, 2002   
Senator Bill Frist is a bad choice to suceed Trent Lott
Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., is a bad choice to succeed Trent Lott as Senate majority leader because of ties to "corporate swindles," the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said today.... more


The Associated Press - Dec 18, 2002   
Governor pledges fast track for lawsuit abuse laws
Texas Gov. Rick Perry pledged Wednesday that neither the insurance lobby nor a lawyer-packed Legislature would prevent him from pushing a lid on medical malpractice jury awards and new controls over insurance rates into law next session.... more


Wilkes Barre Times Leader - Dec 15, 2002   
MALPRACTICE CRISIS;
Is capping jury awards the best medicine?
As a new governor and General Assembly prepare to address skyrocketing malpractice premiums that doctors say are driving them out of Pennsylvania, lawmakers might heed two lessons from states that have attacked the problem with caps on jury awards... more


BestWire - Dec 11, 2002   
CALIFORNIA MEDICAL LIABILITY INSURER HAS RATES PUT ON HOLD FOR PUBLIC HEARING
The second-largest provider of medical-liability insurance in California has had its 2003 rate request--originally approved by the insurance department--set aside as a consumer group requests public hearings into the need for the increase.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Dec 09, 2002   
Commentary; Universal Coverage Will Take Universal Sacrifice
Universal health-care reform is back in vogue, but it will take sacrifice by every stakeholder in health care to achieve it.... more


American Health Line - Dec 09, 2002   
OPINIONMAKERS - THE UNINSURED: LOS ANGELES TIMES OPINION PIECES ADDRESS ISSUE
The Los Angeles Times today features opinion pieces by Ronald Brownstein, a Times columnist, and Jamie Court, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, on the problem of the uninsured.... more


The Sacramento Bee - Dec 06, 2002   
Curb on HMO price hikes urged
A consumer group wants legislation to regulate premium hikes.
A California consumer advocacy group Thursday called for legislation to limit the ability of HMOs to raise health insurance premiums without prior permission from state regulators.... more


Associated Press - Dec 05, 2002   
Major California HMOs fatten as insurance costs rise
California's biggest HMOs are getting richer even as rising medical costs strain the budgets of their customers, according to financial figures filed with state regulators.... more


Associated Press - Dec 04, 2002   
California health care system aches for reforms
Almost everyone agrees California's health care system is hurting badly, but are enough businesses and consumers ready to accept the potentially painful cures currently in the works?... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Dec 04, 2002   
State health-care system unraveling; Blue Shield CEO pushes universal coverage
The head of one of California's largest insurance companies said Tuesday that the state should provide health coverage for all residents -- creating a system that could become a model for universal health care nationwide.... more


San Jose Mercury News - Dec 04, 2002   
Insurer proposes giving Californians universal health coverage
The proposal by Bruce Bodaken, CEO and chairman of Blue Shield of California, would use a combination of public and private insurance programs to provide coverage, and would require most employers and individuals to take part.... more


The Associated Press - Nov 21, 2002   
Insurers begin charging more for some hospitals and doctors
Some insurance companies are trying yet another tactic to drive down health care costs, using tiered medical coverage to steer patients from high-priced hospitals and doctors to less expensive ones.... more


Los Angeles Times - Nov 16, 2002   
Kaiser Will Pay $1-Million Fine for Death;
The state's biggest HMO gives in to regulators who said thefirm failed to deliver timely care to a woman who died of an aneurysm.
The fine, initially imposed in May 2000, is the state's largest against a full-service health maintenance organization, said Daniel Zingale, director of the California Department of Managed Health Care.... more


Sacramento Bee - Nov 16, 2002   
Kaiser will pay fine of $1 million over care
Kaiser Permanente will pay a $1 million fine - the largest in California history against a full-service health plan - to settle a longstanding legal battle with regulators that began with a patient's death, state officials announced Friday.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Nov 16, 2002   
Kaiser to pay $1 million fine over death; HMO had disagreed with state on its authority on access to care
Ending an acrimonious battle with state regulators, Kaiser Permanente agreed to pay a record $1 million fine Friday to settle a case surrounding the death of a 74-year-old San Leandro woman whose treatment was allegedly delayed at its Hayward hospital.... more


The North County Times - Nov 16, 2002   
Health care more costly, more elusive than ever
Community officials gathered at a town hall meeting Friday concluded that getting people, particularly working people and children, the health care they need is more expensive and elusive than ever.... more


American Health Line - Nov 09, 2002   
Kaiser Permanente to Pay $1 Million Fine for HMO Patient Death
The California Department of Managed Health Care imposed the $1 million fine, the largest the department has issued against an HMO, in May 2000. Kaiser had "vigorously fought" the fine but decided to end objections to "move on,"..... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Nov 03, 2002   
It can't hurt to get 2nd opinion;
American Heart Association offers guidelines
When it comes to serious medical conditions, getting a "second opinion" is often not only a good idea, it can be a requirement. Health insurers will, in some cases, insist on a second opinion before they'll agree to pay for an unusual or particularly e... more


Chicago Daily Herald - Oct 31, 2002   
Sizable jump in health-care costs stings employees
Many employees also are seeing jumps in the amount they're charged as a co-payment for office visits and prescription drugs.... more


The Orange County Register - Oct 28, 2002   
UCI adopts medical error plan
Hospitals: Staff won't immediately face penalty. UC program first assumes that the system is at fault.
University of California hospitals hope to reduce medical errors by promising not to punish the doctors and nurses who make mistakes -- a move that could revolutionize the culture of hospitals across the country.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Oct 16, 2002   
Healthnet to Offer New Rates
Jamie Court, executive director of The Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, said HealthNet is creating more products to ease the burden of a downtrodden economy. "HMOs right now are robbing the insurance system of capital," he said.... more


The Orange County Register - Oct 13, 2002   
Help with making health-care choices.
There's no reason for making uninformed decisions, given the number of public and private resources.
Whether you're deciding among health plans, hospitals or doctors, there's no dearth of information to help you navigate your way -- and to educate yourself on the ABCs of our health-care system while you're at it. Here are some useful resources:... more


The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS) - Oct 06, 2002   
House says 'yes' by narrow margin, Senate stalling as Congress eyes tort reform
State delegation split over medical liability reform legislation's worth
Essentially the same political scenario is being played out in the U.S. Capitol as well as in Mississippi, as Congress confronts the same issue.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Oct 06, 2002   
Disability Insurer Is Under Fire;
Legitimate claims denied, suits say
The nation's largest disability insurance company has been accused of systematically denying legitimate claims from seriously ill customers, a corporate strategy allegedly concocted for one purpose: boosting profits.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Sep 29, 2002   
MEDICAL SCHOOLING; Consumers can arm themselves with information about health plans, physicians and promising advances
Health plan decisions, usually made from September through November, are both important and complicated. You need information, whether you are seeking a provider for conventional care or revolutionary, state-of-the-art treatments.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Sep 27, 2002   
Doctors Get Class Status for Lawsuit Against Top HMOs;
Fraud claims could alter California's managed-care system. In same decision, judge denies bid to combine allegations by patients.
The nation's biggest HMOs on Thursday suffered a major setback in their long-running court battle with doctors suing them for fraud, but they won a key victory in a companion case brought by consumers who claimed the insurers put profits before care.... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Sep 09, 2002   
Checking in can make you sick;
Medical Errors
A landmark report by the Institute of Medicine found that up to 98,000 people die each year in the nation\'s hospitals from medical mistakes. On average, that's nearly 20 for each of the nation's 4,900 hospitals--making it the eighth leading cause...... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Sep 05, 2002   
Kaiser compromise on rare illness
Grant will help treat 2 young brothers denied coverage by HMO
The Bennett family stood in front of the Kaiser Permanente headquarters in Oakland on Wednesday, ready to wage a war against their health maintenance organization to get medical coverage for their two sons, who are suffering from a rare and fatal disease.... more


The Sacramento Bee - Sep 05, 2002   
Kaiser gives grant for rare syndrome research
Kaiser Permanente announced a $1 million research grant to Duke University Wednesday in lieu of covering an expensive treatment for two Ione children with a fatal genetic disorder.... more


Oakland Tribune - Sep 05, 2002   
Kaiser to fund research for rare disease
Last-minute decision reverses denial of controversial treatment that could save two boys
Just minutes before a health care advocacy group was to denounce Kaiser Permanente on Wednesday for denying treatment for two boys with a rare genetic disease, Kaiser representatives announced the firm would provide $1 million toward research on a novel t... more


KRON-TV Website - Sep 04, 2002   
Family's HMO Fight Ends Happily
The news conference had been called by consumer advocacy groups to shine a public spotlight on the Bennett family's plight.... more


The New York Times - Aug 25, 2002   
Rise in Insurance Forces Hospitals to Shutter Wards
Around the country this summer, at least half a dozen hospitals have closed obstetric wards, others have curtailed trauma services, and a string of rural clinics have been temporarily shuttered as a result of soaring costs for medical malpractice insuranc... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug 20, 2002   
State must take lead on health care
The recent Capitol Hill burials for a Medicare prescription drug benefit and HMO reform signal that California must take matters into its own hands. Gov. Gray Davis should convene a special session of the Legislature to lead nationally on a crisis of new... more


The Palm Beach Post - Aug 18, 2002   
'Pressure Building' to Fix Malpractice
Now, with premiums soaring 50 percent over the past three years, doctors are crying crisis again. And again, they're pushing the state for relief. How it ends this time might depend on their ability to find common ground....... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Aug 14, 2002   
California's Malpractice Damage Caps Still Debated
California's cap on damages in medical malpractice lawsuits is being recommended by President Bush as a model for the nation. But his claim that such caps will drive down soaring health care costs is hotly debated by consumer and medical groups.... more


Las Vegas Review-Journal - Aug 10, 2002   
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: Insurer has no plan to lower costs
Obstetricians say decision renews crisis
Just one day after Clark County obstetricians announced they would reopen their practices to new patients, their primary insurer said sky-high malpractice premiums would not change anytime soon. Without lowered premiums, one doctor said Southern Nevada ob... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Aug 08, 2002   
Prescription drug issue goes to state Senate;
Watchdog agency would get more say over HMO coverage
A Senate bill introduced this week would give the state more muscle in the battle between patients and HMOs over prescription drug coverage denials.... more


NPR - Aug 02, 2002   
Malpractice Costs


National Public Radio - All Things Considered - Aug 02, 2002   
California's medical malpractice premiums some of the lowest in the country
Doctors across the country say the price of malpractice insurance has become unaffordable. As a result, many have retired early or stopped performing the procedures that are more likely to lead to lawsuits. As a result, members of Congress have consider... more


Modern Physician - Aug 01, 2002   
The blame game; The cause of the malpractice insurance crisis depends on who's doing the talking
As malpractice premiums skyrocket and carriers abandon markets, trial attorneys and insurers are blaming each other for the mess.... more


BestWire - Jul 26, 2002   
Bush Favors Limits On Med-Mal Lawsuits
Bush wants to address the crisis of rising medical-malpractice premiums by putting caps on awards in malpractice lawsuits.... more


The Los Angeles Daily News - Jul 26, 2002   
Woodland Hills, Calif.-Based Insurer Health Net's Vital Signs Get Stronger
As the clash between capitalism and doing what's right for patients comes under federal scrutiny, companies like Health Net and Thousand Oaks-based WellPoint are quick to rationalize their profits.... more


American Health Line - Jul 25, 2002   
Malpractice: Bush Plan Would Cap Awards In Lawsuits
Under Bush\'s plan, which he will announce at a speech in High Point, N.C., the amount patients could be awarded for noneconomic damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering, would be limited to $250,000.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jul 25, 2002   
Bush Seeks to Limit Malpractice Suits;
Such a move will turn aspects of the health-care system into an 'even bigger death trap,' one opponent says. But HHS paper touts benefits.
Bush plans to call today for stringent new curbs on malpractice lawsuits against health-care providers and insurance companies, contending that limiting such litigation will lower the cost of care and increase the number of medical specialists, administra... more


BestWire - Jul 24, 2002   
House Medical-Malpractice Bill To Get More Attention After August
The House has held a brief hearing on a medical-malpractice bill that seeks to limit liability in health-care lawsuits.... more


The Los Angeles Daily News - Jul 24, 2002   
Midsize Firms in Pacific Region Bear Brunt of Rising Health Costs
Double-digit increases in health benefit costs have hurt the state's midsize companies hardest because they lack the power of larger firms to negotiate better coverage or the ability of small businesses to cut benefits according to a new industry survey.... more


Federal Document Clearing House - Jul 17, 2002   
CAPITOL HILL HEARING TESTIMONY: IMPACT OF LITIGATION ON HEALTHCARE ACCESS
COMMITTEE: HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE, SUBCOMMITTEE: HEALTH
In an age where expanding patients' rights has become a national demand, HR 4600 would dramatically contract patients' rights across the nation. This anti-consumer legislation will shield HMOs and providers they influence from legal accountability... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jul 07, 2002   
Op-Ed: Let a Public Board Set Health-Care Rates;
Manage hospitals like utilities
The only way to ensure access to Los Angeles County's emergency rooms and hospitals is by employing the same model that Angelenos use to protect their electricity and water costs and Marylanders use to maintain their hospitals: public utility regulation.... more


L.A. Weekly - Jul 05, 2002   
Say It. Ain't So, Miguel.
L.A.'s top labor leader shills for the HMO vultures
When it came to an urgent, no-brainer, pro-consumer reform of some of the notorious practices of our morally bereft HMOs, Contreras took a dive. We caught him smack-dab in bed in the most compromising of positions with the HMO lobbyists and... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 27, 2002   
Editorial - Your Legislators In Inaction
The "walks" continue. Two significant bills were killed on reconsideration in Assembly committees Tuesday, with pivotal blocs of legislators failing to vote. This "courtesy nonvoting" scheme is becoming common in Sacramento, detailed in Tuesday's editori... more


The Sacramento Bee - Jun 27, 2002   
HMO arbitration reform bill fails -- L.A. labor leader is blamed
Sponsors of a bill that would have allowed patients to avoid mandatory arbitration in certain HMO disputes blamed powerful labor boss Miguel Contreras on Wednesday for defeating the measure.... more


Philadelphia Inquirer - Jun 25, 2002   
COMMENTARY: One for the patients: Court backs states on allowing second opinions on health care
Just when the anti-HMO movie "John Q" was well on its way to the bottom shelves of video stores, along comes the Supreme Court to bolster Americans who have a simmering feud with managed-care insurers.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 25, 2002   
Editorial: Do-nothing Politics;
When the going gets tough, more and more lawmakers are taking a walk
An outbreak of spinelessness has struck the California Assembly. Significant bills are failing because legislators are turning strategically silent or absent at key moments. The problem is, the rules require a majority of all committee members - not just... more


Dayton Daily News - Jun 23, 2002   
WOMEN'S HEALTH-CARE CRISIS LOOMS;
Rising malpractice premiums may force some doctors to stop delivering babies
Miami Valley physicians say rising malpractice premiums soon will force some to make a hard decision - whether to continue delivering babies.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 22, 2002   
Two more top executives to leave Kaiser in shake-up
Two top executives at Kaiser Permanente will leave July 1, including its California division president, whose job has been eliminated by the giant nonprofit health group.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Jun 21, 2002   
Court: States can make HMOs pay for procedures
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that states can force health plans to pay for procedures recommended by outside independent parties... more


American Health Line - Jun 21, 2002   
SUPREME COURT RULING: AHL ROUNDS UP REACTIONS
The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday upheld state laws that allow patients an independent second opinion when an HMO denies coverage (See story 1). The following is a summary of editorials and organizations' reaction.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 21, 2002   
Editorial - A close call for patients
The busy U.S. Supreme Court also delivered a strong ruling for patients' rights Thursday. The justices upheld laws in 42 states -- including California -- that assert a patient's right to get a second opinion when a health maintenance organization denie... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 21, 2002   
Court rules HMO patients entitled to 2nd opinion
States can entitle patients to a second medical opinion if their HMO refuses to pay for treatment, a closely divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a decision that upholds laws in California and 39 other states.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jun 21, 2002   
Patients' Rights Get Lift From Justices
Patients whose health maintenance organizations deny them a medical treatment or drug benefit have a right to a second opinion from outside doctors, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday, upholding the new "independent review" laws in California and 41 other... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Jun 21, 2002   
HMOS MAY BE FORCED TO PAY
In a victory for patients and a serious blow to the managed-care industry, a closely divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states can now force health maintenance organizations to pay for treatments they initially reject.... more


San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Jun 20, 2002   
Assembly committee kills patients' rights bill
Legislation aimed at strengthening patients' rights has been dealt a damning blow after members of a key Assembly committee rejected a proposal seeking to protect those insured by HMOs.... more


San Jose Mercury News - Jun 20, 2002   
State criticizes HMO preventive health care
Barbara Feder Ostrov & Julie Sevrens Lyons
Some California HMOs are falling short on their mandate to provide good preventive health care, state health officials say, so much so that they want to require insurers to file public plans that spell out the care they'll provide.... more


The Sacramento Bee - Jun 18, 2002   
Battle brews over HMOs Bill would let clients bypass arbitration in some serious cases.
A bill that would allow patients to forgo mandatory arbitration in certain HMO disputes and turn directly to the courts is shaping up as the patients' rights battle of the year.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 14, 2002   
Editorial - Patients and the law
Most enrollees in managed-care health plans are required to submit disagreements to HMO-dominated arbitration procedures rather than seek redress by lawsuit. But this contradicts the intent of California's 1999 patients' bill of rights to make HMOs legal... more


Capitol Hill Hearing Testimony - Jun 12, 2002   
House Judiciary Committee - Commercial & Administrative Law Subcommittee - HEALTH CARE AND LITIGATION BILL-NO: H.R. 4600
California is a failed model for the national restrictions being proposed on patients. California patients have been denied adequate compensation and representation for their injuries, and California doctors have seen almost no premium savings. Only the... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jun 10, 2002   
HMOs Stalk Patients' Rights;
The industry must not be allowed to wiggle its way out of accountability to the ailing.
California HMOs are slyly attacking the new patients' rights laws touted by Gov. Gray Davis as the toughest in the nation. The industry can\'t be allowed to undermine the two pillars of HMO patients' rights it has targeted effective state regulation and... more


Modern Healthcare - Jun 03, 2002   
Docs' insurance fight heats up
Two volleys were fired last week in the growing battle over malpractice insurance premiums, which is either a looming national crisis or a public-relations scam orchestrated by physicians, depending on the diametrically opposed arguments.... more


The Sacramento Bee - May 31, 2002   
Health agency rejects ruling
The managed-care chief says no to a judge's slashing of a fine against Kaiser.
A legal battle over patient rights that began six years ago with a death at a Kaiser hospital took a new turn Thursday when state regulators rejected a court ruling they say undercuts their ability to guarantee California\'s 18 million HMO members timely... more


Associated Press - May 30, 2002   
State HMO regulators lose round in dispute with Kaiser
An administrative law judge sided with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Thursday in a dispute with the state Department of Managed Health Care that tests the authority of the 3-year-old department. The state rejected the ruling, said Director Daniel Zingale... more


The Las Vegas Review-Journal - May 30, 2002   
Supporters, opponents of tort reform bill present arguments
Dueling news conferences Wednesday at Valley Hospital Medical Center marked the first time the Nevada Trial Lawyers Association has engaged in an overt bid to win the public\'s sympathy in the medical malpractice insurance crisis.... more


Associated Press - May 22, 2002   
Workers' comp bill shows Davis' way with campaign money
After vetoing workers' compensation reforms for three years, Gov. Gray Davis this year declared the legislation long overdue and signed the labor-friendly bill into law.... more


Toronto Star - May 18, 2002   
Phone clerks rewarded for limiting MD visits
Bonuses for keeping patient calls brief
Telephone clerks at California's largest HMO received bonuses for keeping calls with patients brief and limiting the number of doctor visits they agreed to set up.... more


The Los Angeles Times - May 17, 2002   
Kaiser Clerks Paid More for Helping Less
Bonuses were given for limiting members' calls and doctor's appointments. HMO defends program but has dropped it.
Kaiser Permanente, the state's largest HMO, until recently had awarded financial bonuses to call center clerks who spent the least amount of time on the phone with each patient and limited the number of doctors' appointments, internal documents show.... more


American Health Line - May 09, 2002   
CALIFORNIA: HEALTH INSURANCE A 'BAIT-AND-SWITCH SCAM'?
Health insurance in California is "fast becoming a bait-and-switch scam" in which consumers choose a health plan and insurers then increase costs or reduce benefits... more


The Los Angeles Times - May 08, 2002   
Insurance: You Pay, They Bait and Switch;
Health-care plans are beginning to feel like scams in California.
The revelation that health insurers will be levying surcharges of as much as $400 per day for the best hospitals shows the degree to which insurance is fast becoming a bait-and-switch scam.... more


The Baltimore Sun - Apr 21, 2002   
Insurer's success evolves from "WellPoint Way";
The insurer that wants to buy CareFirst is praised for its acumen by business analysts but not by doctors.
"The WellPoint Way" began the moment Leonard D. Schaeffer saw the shrimp and the ice sculpture. It was 1986, his first day as chief executive of Blue Cross of California, a company that was on its way to losing $157 million that year.... more


ABC World News Tonight - Apr 21, 2002   
Increase in health insurance prices in California can affect rest of country
Last week CalPERS accepted a 25 percent increase in HMO premiums for next year. The steep increase speaks to a serious problem facing companies and workers nationwide.... more


American Health Line - Apr 18, 2002   
CALPERS: BOARD APPROVES 25% PREMIUM RISE, DROPS TWO HMOS
As expected, the board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the second-largest purchaser of health insurance after the federal government, yesterday approved a 25.1% increase in premiums for the system's HMO plans in 2003,... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 18, 2002   
Healthy Profits Don't Equal Good Health
If the California Public Employees\' Retirement System--the Goliath of buyers--can get stepped on, then without new controls the little guys--small businesses and individual purchasers--will be crushed. ... more


The Orange County Register - Apr 17, 2002   
CalPERS likely to up premiums;
Health care State employees could pay 25% more next year. Other employers might follow suit.
Health-insurance premiums for public workers throughout the state are headed toward a stunning 25 percent increase next year, after a decision Tuesday by a key committee of the California Public Employees\' Retirement System.... more


American Health Line - Apr 17, 2002   
CALPERS: EXPECTED TO RAISE PREMIUMS 25%, DROP TWO HMO'S
The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the second-largest purchaser of health care behind the federal government, is expected today to approve a "historic" 25% increase in health insurance premiums for next year, the San Jose Mercury News... more


The Washington Post - Apr 17, 2002   
Health-Care Costs Jump At Calpers; Big Premium Increase May Signal Trend
Health insurance premiums for California's 1.2 million state employees and retirees are likely to jump a record 25 percent next year, officials said yesterday, delivering an ominous warning for the rest of the nation about rising medical costs.... more


Modern Healthcare - Apr 15, 2002   
Loosening their grip;
As HMOs' popularity continues to erode, more plans turn to less-restrictive rules. But with costs rising, what's next?
It has been two years since UnitedHealth Group essentially ripped up the managed-care rule book by shedding its preapproval requirements and granting doctors final say over how they treat their patients.... more


In These Times (Institute for Public Affairs) - Apr 01, 2002   
When HMO's Attack
HMOs aim to stop even modest reform in its tracks
California's HMO reform laws, in force since mid-2000, make up the toughest patients' bill of rights in the nation. They allow bigger fines and send more types of challenged HMO decisions to independent review boards than in any of the other 40 states wi... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Mar 31, 2002   
David M. Lawrence; CEO led Kaiser through HMO storm
Some have criticized Kaiser -- and Lawrence in particular -- for trying to mimic the structure of for-profit HMOs and straying off course with overly aggressive expansion plans.... more


Daily Journal - Mar 13, 2002   
Face-Off in Assembly Over Health-Care ADR
While Kaiser defends mandatory arbitration to lawmakers, attorneys and nurses disagree.
Consumer advocates urged members of two state legislative committees Tuesday to pass legislation banning mandatory arbitration in health care disputes, contending it is unfair and biased against patients.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Mar 11, 2002   
Health Care Disputes at Issue
Policy: Arbitration provider breaks with HMOs, saying it will no longer handle such cases unless both sides agree to the out-of-court process.... more


ABC-TV World News Tonight - Mar 06, 2002   
Health insurance companies that refuse to pay
PETER JENNINGS, anchor: Most Americans depend on their employers for health insurance. Some small businesses cannot afford traditional insurance. And with special insurers come special risks.... more


Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel - Feb 18, 2002   
Check Out Fine Print
Don't look now, but you've probably signed away your right to sue your credit card issuer, broker, long distance company and health maintenance organization.... more


The Orange County Register - Feb 16, 2002   
'John Q' Pains Health-Care Industry
The film's premise is flawed, officials say, adding that its violence could encourage copycat crimes.
The movie 'John Q', Hollywood's latest take on the outrages of the U.S. health-care system, is raising the hackles of health plans and hospitals, who say it is factually flawed and could even be dangerous.... more


Los Angeles Times - Feb 15, 2002   
Closer Look at Complaints on HMOs Urged
Regulation: State wants to review arbitration cases involving patients, while industry representatives say it would be an undue invasion of privacy.
California HMO regulators are seeking to expand their review of arbitration cases involving patients, citing concerns about the fairness of the process.... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Feb 06, 2002   
State HMO regulator snagged in web of legal challenges
A year-and-a-half into his tenure as the state's head regulator over the managed-care industry, Daniel Zingale is facing a series of legal challenges that could limit his department's ability to govern health plans.... more


The Orange County Register - Jan 16, 2002   
PacifiCare to link doctors, cost
PacifiCare of California plans next year to roll out new health-maintenance organizations in which members who choose "preferred" primary doctors will be rewarded with lower deductibles and co-payments.... more


Sacramento Bee - Jan 16, 2002   
Bonus pay tied to patient care
Six health plans are set to assess medical groups for their service quality and to reward good ones.
Six California health plans Tuesday unveiled a joint venture to pay bonuses to physician groups based on patient satisfaction and quality of care.... more


American Health Line - Jan 16, 2002   
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Fundamentally, it's a mirage. If they really wanted to change the quality of care patients received, they would pay doctors more for treating the sicker patients."... more


East Bay Express - Jan 16, 2002   
Critical Condition: California's Department of Managed Health Care is fighting for its life.
Will a court challenge from Kaiser strip the agency of its power to regulate HMOs after only nineteen months on the job?
Margaret Utterback awoke on the morning of January 26, 1996, with abdominal pain so severe that she wanted to see her doctor right away. The 74-year-old San Leandro resident and Kaiser health plan enrollee... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Jan 16, 2002   
Bonus plan will reward doctors for quality of care
In a move aimed at improved health, six of the largest managed-care plans in California will award bonuses to doctors groups based on the quality of care they give their patients.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 16, 2002   
Health Plans to Pay Bonuses for Quality
Pact by six state insurers is further sign of disenchantment with HMO system.
Six of California's largest health insurers said Tuesday they will begin paying bonuses to doctors for providing superior treatment, giving further evidence that the current system of fixed HMO payments for patient care rapidly is coming unglued. ... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Jan 16, 2002   
Health care plans sign on to rating system for doctors
A coalition of California health plans, employers and physician groups announced an effort yesterday designed to improve the quality of health care by paying doctors more for better performance.... more


Modern Healthcare - Jan 15, 2002   
Bonus time
California association plans to reward physicians for good patient care
A collaboration of California health plans, medical groups and employers is expected this week to unveil a statewide healthcare initiative that uses money from insurance premium increases to reward physicians for improving the quality of patient care.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 14, 2002   
A Shift to Quality by Health Plans
Newest approach would reward better care--but give consumers more responsibility.
Six California health plans are expected to announce Tuesday what they call an "unprecedented" effort to improve patient care and control spiraling health-care costs by rewarding doctors and hospitals for quality, not just efficiency.... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Jan 14, 2002   
Business Blues; Health Care; attitudes toward a universal health care system
There's no doubt that businesses are fed up with rapidly escalating health care premiums, but so much so that they are willing to swallow state-sponsored universal health care?... more


BestWire - Jan 08, 2002   
ADVERTISING SUIT THAT TARGETS KAISER IS SET FOR TRIAL
A consumer group\'s 1999 lawsuit against Kaiser Permanente, which accuses the health system of false advertising, is set for trial this fall.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Jan 07, 2002   
Lawsuit Disputes Truth of Kaiser Permanente Ads
The long-running advertisements by Kaiser Permanente claimed medical decisions were "in the hands of doctors." But a consumer group says it will introduce documents during an impending trial that show those decisions were not only in the hands of th... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 02, 2002   
Cases Reveal Lapses In Emergency Care
The Kaiser Permanente doctor who examined Harun Antwine had worked at least 10 hours that day, seeing 25 patients in his office and 15 more that evening at the HMO\'s Fontana urgent care center.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Dec 30, 2001   
Public airing of private justice
Assemblyman calls hearings on mandatory arbitration
After three years championing schools, diversity and the disabled, Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg is about to confront a legislator\'s nightmare. ... more


Los Angeles Times - Dec 27, 2001   
Repair, Don't Merely Bandage, Health Care
Another year has passed without solutions for a health care system that increasingly has given grief to all its stakeholders except the HMOs and insurance companies that control it.... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Dec 11, 2001   
Judge backs state in $1.1 million fine of Kaiser Permanente
Court rules it was OK to cite case of Medicare patient
A federal judge ruled yesterday that the state can use the case of a Medicare recipient in levying a $1.1 million fine against Kaiser Permanente, despite arguments from the health plan... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Dec 11, 2001   
Judge upholds HMO chief
Kaiser's request for finding him in contempt is denied
A federal judge ruled yesterday that the state HMO czar was not in contempt for using the experience of a Medicare patient to justify a record-setting $1.1 million fine against Kaiser Permanente.... more


Los Angeles Times - Dec 10, 2001   
HMO Role: the Intimidator
(Editorial)
On the morning of Jan. 26, 1996, Margaret Utterback awoke with a gnawing, sharp pain in her side and at 8:30 began trying to reach her doctor at Kaiser.... more


San Jose Mercury News - Dec 10, 2001   
Battle over HMO penalty challenges state's authority
Critics say Kaiser is trying to intimidate the state's top healthcare official. The company questions the use of a Medicare case to justify a $1.1 million fine
An arcane legal battle playing out in California is raising pivotal consumer health issues that could affect patient protections for millions of California seniors -- and, some fear, compromise the ability of the state's top HMO regulator to do his job.... more


City News Service - Dec 10, 2001   
Kaiser Permanente
A federal judge today ruled that the California Department of Managed Health Care is acting within the law and can levy a $1.1. million fine against Kaiser Permanente -- the state's largest HMO.... more


United Press International - Dec 10, 2001   
Calif judge rejects HMO contempt motion
A federal judge in Los Angeles refused Monday to charge the head of California's Department of Managed Care with contempt over a $1.1 million fine against a major health maintenance organization that was based, in part, on the death of a patient... more


Los Angeles Times - Dec 09, 2001   
WellPoint Makes a Strong Recovery
Six years ago its prognosis was poor. Today its expansion is being cheered by investors and challenged by consumer advocates.
If its recent flurry of acquisitions survives regulatory scrutiny and emerges intact, WellPoint Health Networks Inc. will have the nation\'s third-largest enrollment among publicly traded managed-care companies, moving ahead of rival Cigna Corp.... more


Los Angeles Times - Dec 07, 2001   
Kaiser HMO, New State Regulator Square Off
Firm is trying to overturn the young agency's $1.1-million fine for alleged fatal lapses in care.
Kaiser Permanente, the state's largest HMO, and the fledgling California Department of Managed Health Care are butting heads in a case that tests regulators' ability to penalize health plans for alleged lapses in patient care.... more


Associated Press - Nov 28, 2001   
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan asks court to find state regulator in contempt
The director of the state's Department of Managed Health Care was ordered Wednesday to appear in federal court to answer charges that he violated federal law by fining Kaiser Foundation Health Plan $1.1 million for poor emergency room care.... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Oct 30, 2001   
Threats expose health care problems
The current anthrax scare should send an urgent message to employers that they must now grab the extended hand of the medical community in order to fix a broken public health care system that undeniably affects us all.... more


The Associated Press - Sep 26, 2001   
Judge halts release of medical groups' records by state agency
A judge agreed Wednesday to temporarily halt the state Department of Managed Health Care's planned release of medical group's financial information.... more


The Press Democrat - Sep 25, 2001   
HPR, KAISER RATE HIGH ON SURVEY
STATEWIDE STUDY CRITICIZES HMOS FOR DELAYS AT DOCTORS' OFFICES
The two largest health maintenance organizations in Sonoma County - - Kaiser Permanente and Health Plan of the Redwoods -- received generally favorable ratings in a patient survey conducted by the new California Department of Managed Health Care... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Sep 24, 2001   
California gives its largest HMOs their first report card; Plans measured in 17 categories of care
California has issued its first report card on health-maintenance organizations, which indicates that many health plans fall short in several areas regarding the care of their members.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Sep 07, 2001   
Health plans getting better, report finds
While Congress tries to craft a managed-care patient\'s bill of rights, health plans received acknowledgement yesterday that perhaps they may not be doing so badly, after all.... more


The Press Democrat - Sep 05, 2001   
OFFICIALS SAY KAISER PHYSICIANS ACCESSIBLE
IMPROVED POLICIES, SATISFIED PATIENTS CITED IN WAKE OF CRITICISM
Kaiser Permanente officials, who came under fire last weekend for limiting patient access to doctors in the late 1990s, said Tuesday they have worked to remove any barriers and have made it easier for patients to see their physicians quickly.... more


Los Angeles Times - Sep 01, 2001   
Kaiser Made It Hard to See an MD, Critics Say
HMO hindered Northern California patients' access to doctors, papers show. But service is better of late, a top physician says.
Kaiser Permanente, the largest HMO in California, presented two very different faces in the late 1990s. Publicly, it promoted itself in an advertising campaign as a health maintenance organization whose patients were "in the hands of doctors."... more


American Health Line - Aug 07, 2001   
PATIENTS' RIGHTS: WOULD HOUSE BILL 'TRUMP' CALIF., TEXAS?
California Department of Managed Health Care Director Daniel Zingale said yesterday that patients' rights legislation (HR 2563) approved by the U.S. House last week "would undermine" the state's review procedures... more


Sacramento Bee - Aug 06, 2001   
House bill may erode rights of Calif. patients
A patients' bill of rights passed by the House of Representatives late last week will undermine HMO reform efforts in the state, the California Department of Managed Health Care said over the weekend.... more


Los Angeles Times - Aug 06, 2001   
Official Sees Peril to HMO Reforms
Chief of state agency says House bill would create an appeals fee and cap potential damages.
California's HMO czar warned Sunday that patient-protection legislation passed by the U.S. House last week would undermine the state's reforms that took effect in January.... more


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Aug 02, 2001   
BUSH REACHES PATIENTS' RIGHTS COMPROMISE
President Bush struck a deal yesterday with a key Republican lawmaker on a compromise patients' bill of rights, but the terms of the agreement threatened to destroy a bipartisan coalition... more


The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY.) - Jul 24, 2001   
Doctor investigations must be disclosed
Louisville man filed lawsuit for results of Medicare review
A Louisville man devastated by his wife's 1999 cancer death has won a court ruling that could open to Medicare patients, and their families, the findings of investigations about the care provided by doctors.... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Jul 23, 2001   
HMO Regulator Getting High Marks Alter First Year
When the state Department or Managed Health Care began operations a year ago as the first HMO regulatory body in the nation, it was given what many believed was a nearly impossible and contradictory task.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jul 20, 2001   
Kaiser Backs Union Plan to Boost Nurse Staffing Levels
HMO says move could cost $200 million a year. Critics charge that the firm is trying to head off new state standards.
Kaiser Permanente is throwing its support behind a union proposal to boost nurse staffing levels, a move that could cost its 28 California hospitals $120 million to $200 million annually, Kaiser officials said Thursday.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Jul 18, 2001   
Consumers' HMO complaints listed by state agency
How does your health plan stack up against the rest?... more


The Dallas Morning News - Jul 16, 2001   
Patient suit predictions go unmet
Reasons elusive as debate continues on rights bill
President Bush is warning Congress that he will veto the Senate version of proposed patient protection legislation... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Jul 16, 2001   
Local Forces Playing Key Roles in Patient Rights Issue
list of California politicians, business leaders advocating patients' rights
Jamie Court
Title: Executive Director
Organization: Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (formerly Californians for Quality Care)... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Jul 12, 2001   
HMOs' gestures won't solve patient care problems
Patients may feel better about their health maintenance organization after Blue Cross of California's announcement this week that doctors will receive bonuses based on patient satisfaction, but they are not likely to see any real difference... more


The Dallas Morning News - Jul 12, 2001   
Patients' bill of rights not reflected in California HMO evaluation plan
Blue Cross of California said that a plan to reward doctors based on patient satisfaction has nothing to do with legislation pending in Washington.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jul 11, 2001   
Viagra coverage left up to Kaiser
Judge's ruling may give HMO more power over formulating its prescription drug plan
The state can't require Kaiser health plans to cover Viagra, a Sacramento judge said, in a ruling that could ultimately give health maintenance organizations considerable more authority over their prescription drug plans.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jul 11, 2001   
Blue Cross sets new policy on doctor bonuses
Physicians' rewards now based on quality of care
In a major policy shift that will affect more than 1 million HMO members, Blue Cross of California said yesterday that it will reward doctors for satisfying patients rather than cutting costs.... more


CNN LIVE TODAY - Jul 11, 2001   
Blue Cross' New Focus: Patient Satisfaction and Medical Quality
Blue Cross of California announced a shifted in focus almost entirely to patient satisfaction and quality medical outcomes. Jamie Court, the director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights; and Michael Chee of Blue Cross of California talk... more


CBS Evening News - Jul 10, 2001   
One HMO's New Prescription
California Blue Cross Unit Will Base Bonuses On Patient Satisfaction
A major California insurer said Tuesday it would base the bonuses it pays doctors on patient satisfaction rather than cost-cutting, a move that could spur industry-wide change.... more


The Associated Press - Jul 10, 2001   
California HMO will give bonuses for patient satisfaction rather than cost savings
Blue Cross of California, one of the state's major health maintenance organizations, said Tuesday it will begin financially rewarding doctors for patient satisfaction rather than holding down costs.... more


Marketplace - Jul 10, 2001   
Major HMO announces plans to give incentive to doctors to provide customer satisfaction
Now if you've been following the debate over a so-called patients' rights bill, you\'ve been hearing the complaints about impersonal treatment... more


NBC Nightly News - Jul 10, 2001   
Blue Cross to consider patient satisfaction in paying doctor bonuses
In California tonight, could it be the start of something big?... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Jul 01, 2001   
Health care gets its 'cop on the beat'
Government regulation of health maintenance organizations has long been criticized for being lax in California, but Daniel Zingale is working to change all that.... more


The Orange County Register - Jun 30, 2001   
California ahead of the game
For Californians, the patients' bill of rights passed by the U.S. Senate on Friday is not groundbreaking so much as validating.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 24, 2001   
State law guards patients' rights
National debate doesn't resonate in California
If you put California's patients' bill of rights back to back with the federal one being debated in the U.S. Senate, the state's laws definitely have the edge.... more


Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Jun 23, 2001   
EDITORIAL
PATIENTS DESERVE BILL OF RIGHTS
President Bush would be unwise to veto patients' bill of rights legislation. It's clearly needed and has popular support.... more


National Public Radio - Jun 23, 2001   
JAMIE COURT AND SUSAN PISANO DISCUSS PATIENTS' BILL OF RIGHTS
A strong political momentum in Congress to reform managed care. Our Dan Schorr talked about that with Susan Pisano from the American Association for Health Plans in Washington, DC, and out in Los Angeles, Jamie Court... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 21, 2001   
Individual insurance a problem
People trying to get individual health insurance routinely get rejected for conditions as minor as hay fever or an old knee injury, according to a study released yesterday.... more


FTCR - Jun 18, 2001   
Got a score to settle? Consider an arbitrator.
Consumers growing weary of the nation\'s backlogged court system are discovering other outlets to settle their legal disputes.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 14, 2001   
Take 2 Aspirin, Call California in the Morning
A federal patients' bill of rights, which President Bush announced he would veto, deserves a second look, especially a look in the direction of California, which has the strongest patients' rights laws in the nation.... more


The Associated Press - Jun 13, 2001   
Attorney general to probe Kaiser for donations to governor
State's largest health group dismisses the accusations
The state attorney general is investigating allegations that the nonprofit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan indirectly made contributions to Gov. Gray Davis and others, violating state and federal campaign laws, according to a published report.... more


The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA.) - Jun 12, 2001   
Area activist has hand in patient-rights guide
Linda Roberts-Ross of Yucaipa says the booklet she helped write will be sent to libraries and doctors.
Health-care activist Linda Roberts-Ross helped write a booklet she hopes will give patients life-saving information.... more


Associated Press - Jun 11, 2001   
Officials, advocates say California HMO law should be national model
A new state law allowing patients to sue health maintenance organizations has not resulted in a flood of lawsuits as insurance companies had feared, according to state regulators and a consumer group.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 11, 2001   
Review Boards Siding With HMOs So Far
Study is state's first look at new process of handling disputes. The industry and consumer advocates disagree on significance.
Using a new consumer protection law, state regulators since Jan. 1 have sent nearly 200 disputes between HMOs and patients to an independent medical review board, which has ruled in favor of the health plans 65% of the time... more


Modern Healthcare - Jun 11, 2001   
Data dilemmas
Standardization urged for Calif.'s Medi-Cal providers
Data exchange for California\'s Medicaid managed-care programs is so complex that it may be difficult to effectively gauge the quality of care provided, according to recently published reports.... more


The Recorder - Jun 04, 2001   
HEALTHY OUTLOOK FOR BILL TO ALLOW HMO SUITS
Californians who receive botched health care may be able to take their HMO to court if a bill, which passed the Senate last week, continues on its current path.... more


Sacramento Bee - May 30, 2001   
Capitol Digest: Senate OKs bill on patients' rights
Patients would retain the right to sue despite health-care agreements that say otherwise under legislation that passed the state Senate on Tuesday.... more


BestWire - May 30, 2001   
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE CONSIDERS ALLOWING PATIENTS TO SUE HMOS
The California state Senate has passed a bill that would give patients a choice of suing health maintenance organizations in court or through arbitration--under specific circumstances.... more


Associated Press - May 29, 2001   
Senate OKs bill banning mandatory arbitration of substantial harm cases
Legislation bolstering a patients' right-to-sue law was narrowly approved by the state Senate on Tuesday despite opposition from business and medical lobbies.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - May 24, 2001   
A guide to managed health care published
When Kathy Olsen's 2-year-old son, Steven, fell on a stick that jammed into his face in 1992, it set into motion a nightmare that still continues.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - May 15, 2001   
Navigating the HMO seas
New guidebook a life raft for patients
Her long battle against the state's biggest health maintenance organization has made Terry Preston an expert in tenacity. "I learned the hard way that HMOs and the health care industry rely on the waiting game," said Preston... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - May 14, 2001   
Employers, Care Providers Join Forces to Fight Insurers
Realizing there is strength in numbers, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is attempting to build a coalition of medical professionals and business leaders... more


Sacramento Bee - May 09, 2001   
Patients get help on HMO disputes
Consumers puzzled by the increasingly dense thicket of regulations surrounding HMOs now have a new place to turn for help resolving health care disputes.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 04, 2001   
Medicare Patients Can Sue HMOs
State court rules in favor of consumers' right to seek redress if care is improperly denied.
Medicare patients in California may sue health maintenance organizations for denying necessary but expensive medical treatment, the California Supreme Court decided Thursday.... more


New York Times - May 04, 2001   
California Court Upholds Patient's Right to Sue an H.M.O.
In a decision that makes it easier for Medicare patients to sue their health maintenance organizations, the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the widow of an Orange County businessman was entitled to seek compensation under state tort law... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - May 04, 2001   
Medicare patients allowed to sue HMOs
Top state court rules in denial-of-care case
In a major victory for 1.5 million Californians, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Medicare beneficiaries can sue health maintenance organizations for damages when they are denied adequate care.... more


Orange County Register - Apr 18, 2001   
Higher co-payments for CalPERS Health insurance
The giant pension plan deals for smaller jumps in HMO premiums by agreeing to higher co-payments.
The California Public Employees\' Retirement System, widely viewed as a bellwether of health-insurance trends in the state, said Tuesday that it has reached deals with eight HMOs to limit premium increases... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Apr 17, 2001   
When we let commerce trump the Constitution
Until recently, the independent judiciary was the last branch of government where the average person could reasonably expect to prevail over the rich and powerful corporation.... more


The Orange County Register - Apr 05, 2001   
Limits and recourses
A ruling by the California Supreme Court that Medicare-contracted HMO patients can sue their health maintenance organizations doesn\'t apply to people who receive their health coverage through a private employer.... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Mar 26, 2001   
Patient Advocates Seek State Support for HMO Lawsuits
Consumer advocates are calling on the state Department of Managed Health Care to co-sponsor a bill that would give patients the right to sue their HMOs in court rather than be forced to go to binding arbitration.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Mar 22, 2001   
Arbitration data to stay private, health czar rules
Saying he lacks the authority, the state\'s managed-care czar has denied a petition by consumer advocate groups to make arbitration decisions public.... more


Sacramento Bee - Mar 22, 2001   
Arbitration records sealed
The California Department of Managed Health Care has denied a consumer group\'s petition to make public the records of HMO arbitration hearings, citing its legal obligation to keep the information confidential.... more


Sacramento Bee - Mar 15, 2001   
EDITORIAL: Disclosure vs. discretion - Should medical arbitration records be public?
One of the first high-profile decisions for the new state Department of Managed Health Care is whether to release more information about arbitration cases between patients and their health plans.... more


The Associated Press - Mar 15, 2001   
Aetna names new head of medical operations
Aetna Inc., still mending fences with physicians over its managed care policies, on Thursday appointed a California HMO executive to the position of chief of medical operations.... more


Modern Physician - Mar 12, 2001   
Private matter; Managed care chief declines to release arbitration records
California\'s managed care chief plans to evaluate health plan arbitration but has no plans to comply with a consumer group\'s petition to make arbitration records public.... more


The New York Times - Mar 04, 2001   
California Court Upholds Patient's Right to Sue an H.M.O.
In a decision that makes it easier for Medicare patients to sue their health maintenance organizations, the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the widow of an Orange County businessman was entitled to seek compensation under state tort laws.... more


RN - Mar 01, 2001   
Reduce your risk in the managed care jungle.
"This court had no choice but to pluck ... [the plaintiff's] case out of the state court in which she sought redress ... and then ... to slam the courthouse doors in her face and leave her without any remedy."... more


Modern Healthcare - Feb 26, 2001   
Access to arbitration records sought
Sparking outrage from health plans, two California consumer groups have filed a petition to make records of arbitration hearings between HMOs and patients public information.... more


Modern Physician - Feb 26, 2001   
Vitals
ARBITRATION RECORDS.
A California group has petitioned the state\'s Department of Managed Health Care in an attempt to make public all medical arbitration records.... more


American Banker-Bond Buyer - Feb 26, 2001   
West Zone: Calif. HMO Dept. Intervenes
The California Dept. of Managed Health Care has decided to put itself in the precarious position of arbiter in a dispute between consumer groups and California HMOs... more


Los Angeles Times - Feb 23, 2001   
THROW LIGHT ON HMO COMPLAINTS
Los Angeles Times Editorial
Last month the state Supreme Court essentially prohibited health plans from sealing medical records involved in lawsuits if disclosing them would benefit the cause of public health. This is a broad-brushed decision that could cover almost any quality prob... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Feb 15, 2001   
State asked to make health-plan disputes public
Two consumer groups have petitioned the state to open up the arbitration system used by most health plans to resolve disputes with plan members.... more


The Orange County Register - Feb 15, 2001   
Healing spirits
Patients who can't remedy red tape have laws and advocate groups at their side.
Jack Redmond needed an injection of a prostate-cancer drug, so he called his doctor's office. But no one picked up the phone.... more


The Associated Press - Feb 14, 2001   
Consumer group wants records of patient-health plan arbitration
A consumer group has filed a petition to get access to records from arbitration hearings between health plans and patients.... more


Sacramento Bee - Feb 14, 2001   
Access to HMO arbitration records asked
For the California Department of Managed Health Care, the honeymoon is over.... more


United Press International - Feb 10, 2001   
Bush, Congress at odds over patients' rights to sue
A bipartisan congressional group has proposed a new compromise on patients' rights legislation, including a limited right to sue health plans, but President Bush has countered with a softer version.... more


Sacramento Bee - Feb 08, 2001   
Numbers Game
In the battle to keep costs down,group medical visits are growing
As Dr. Chu Kwan Lau bent to examine a patient's swollen calves on a recent Wednesday morning, it sounded for all the world like a typical, routine visit.... more


American Health Line - Feb 07, 2001   
PATIENTS' RIGHTS: MCCAIN, KENNEDY UNVEIL PLAN
As expected, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Edward Kennedy (D- Mass.) and a coalition of Democrat and GOP lawmakers yesterday unveiled the "Bipartisan Patient Protection Act of 2001"... more


Sacramento Bee - Jan 12, 2001   
HMOs underreport disputed cases
Although the majority of California's largest HMOs require patients to submit disputes to an arbitrator, many are not reporting the cases as required by law to the state, a study released Thursday concluded.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Jan 12, 2001   
HMO dispute setup flawed, report finds
A state report has found that arbitration used by most health plans to resolve disputes is deeply flawed at the expense of consumers. ... more


Associated Press - Jan 11, 2001   
Consumer Group Seeks End To Mandatory HMO Arbitration
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) -- A consumer group Thursday urged lawmakers to bar health maintenance organizations from forcing patients to seek arbitration in disputes.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 08, 2001   
WAYS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR CARE THIS YEAR
Bob Rosenblatt 
The New Year brings more weapons to the arsenal of consumers as they fight to make their way successfully through the increasingly complicated world of health insurance.... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Dec 29, 2000   
Groups Offer Health-Care Guide Online
Californians struggling to find their way through the managed-care quagmire now have help on the World Wide Web. Over the last two years, landmark state legislation has revamped managed-care consumer rights in California. To help patients understand w... more


Medical Industry Today - Dec 06, 2000   
Disparate Groups Join to Promote New Coverage for Uninsured
Three lobbying groups often on the opposite sides of healthcare issues have joined forces to push for expansion of Medicaid to bring more people under its umbrella along with a tax credit for low-income workers.... more


The Associated Press - Dec 02, 2000   
Groundbreaking NJ case against HMO proceeds amid efforts to rein in HMOs
The couple who helped end drive-through deliveries after their 2-day-old daughter died are on a new crusade - this time to hold HMOs accountable for their medical decisions.... more


Wall Street Journal - Nov 21, 2000   
Ex-Rivals Unite In Wider Health-Insurance Plan
WASHINGTON -- Former enemies in health-care reform battles put aside their differences to propose steps to cut the ranks of the uninsured -- largely through expanding Medicaid and creating a tax credit for employers.... more


Los Angeles Times   - Nov 20, 2000   
KPC TO SHUTTER MEDICAL CLINICS
HEALTH CARE: THE COLLAPSE LEAVES CARE OF 300,000 IN QUESTION
The largest for-profit medical group in Southern California will close its clinics, disrupting care for 300,000 patients and presenting the first major test of the state's new managed care regulations.... more


Dallas Morning News - Oct 27, 2000   
Supreme Court may test HMO members' right to seek second opinion
WASHINGTON _ At least 38 states have passed laws giving HMO members the right to seek an independent medical opinion if their insurer denies a treatment or test. But can a state force an HMO to abide by the arbitrator's decision? The answer depends on... more


Associated Press - Oct 20, 2000   
Consumer Rights' Group Criticizes Burns For Taking Money From Managed Care Interests
Two consumer interest groups criticized U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns Thursday for accepting campaign funding from managed care interests that oppose a bill of rights for patients.... more


Helena Independent Record - Oct 20, 2000   
National Groups Rip Burns
Senator Taken to Task for Handling of Libby Asbestos, Health Care Issues
HELENA — Two national groups took aim at Republican U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns on Thursday, one releasing ads criticizing Burns for a "lack of leadership" in aiding Montanans affected by asbestos poisoning, and the other calling on him to support a sweeping... more


Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Oct 20, 2000   
Patients' Bill of Rights: Gorton Holds the Key
When the U.S. Senate votes again in the next few days on a bipartisan patients' bill of rights -- which failed by one vote this summer -- the vote of Washington's U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton will be decisive for more than 125 million Americans who are without... more


Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Oct 20, 2000   
A PATIENTS' BILL OF RIGHTS
When the U.S. Senate votes again in the next few days on a bipartisan patients' bill of rights - which failed by one vote this summer - the vote of Washington's U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton will be decisive for more than 125 million Americans who are without... more


Sacramento Bee - Oct 01, 2000   
Difference of Opinions
Blue Cross of California thought it was doing a good thing when it rolled out a new line of discounted health plans this week - honest. Blue Cross, the state's largest for-profit health insurer with about 4.5 million members, thought the lower-priced... more


Kansas City Star - Sep 30, 2000   
Ashcroft Reconsiders HMO Bill
WASHINGTON - Sen. John Ashcroft is having second thoughts about his opposition to a high-profile bill that would give Americans more clout to deal with health maintenance organizations. Ashcroft, a Missouri Republican facing a re-election challenge fr... more


American Healthline - Sep 29, 2000   
California: Blue Cross Proposes Lower Premiums
In an attempt to reduce the number of uninsured residents, Blue Cross of California proposed yesterday to reduce premiums and raise deductibles for most of its individual policyholders, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Under the proposal -- which does... more


Sacramento Bee - Sep 29, 2000   
State to Examine Planned Hospital Closure
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has launched a statewide probe into whether the parent company of Mercy Healthcare Sacramento violated laws governing charities and anti-competitive practices when it purchased - and announced plans to close - a sm... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Sep 28, 2000   
Blue Cross To Offer Cheap Plan
Saying it wants to offer cheaper health care to the uninsured, Blue Cross of California proposed premium reductions yesterday for most of its individual policyholders while shifting some of the costs to deductibles.... more


Troy Record - Sep 19, 2000   
Congress Urged to Support Patient's Bill of Rights
ALBANY, NY- The husband of Judith Packevicz, the Saratoga Springs woman who died after battling her HMO over a liver transplant, joined with other advocates in Albany Monday to call on New York's congressional delegation to support a patients bill of righ... more


Los Angeles Times - Sep 16, 2000   
Average HMO Medicare Rate Set to Double
Health: Premiums May Even Reach $179 a Month for Some. Little Change Seen for L.A., Orange Counties
Medicare managed-care plans--often the only way low- and middle-income seniors can afford comprehensive health care--will more than double in cost next year for millions of older Americans.... more


American Healthline - Sep 15, 2000   
California: Lawmakers Advocate CHIP Expansion
Backed by a "cadre of heath care workers and local activists," California Assembly members Bob Hertzberg (D) and Martin Gallegos (D) on this week called upon state and federal officials to expand the state's CHIP, Healthy Families, to 600,000 uninsured wo... more


American Healthline - Sep 13, 2000   
PATIENTS' RIGHTS: New Compromise Bill Targets GOP Votes
Four patients' rights champions -- Reps. Charles Norwood (R-Ga.), John Dingell (D-Mich.), Greg Ganske (R-Iowa) and Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) -- have proposed a new compromise bill, ho... more


Associated Press - Sep 13, 2000   
California Looks for Solutions to Growing Lack of Health Coverage
With no work for nearly six months, electrician Michael Everett barely had money to survive, let alone supply medical coverage for his wife and daughter. An injury or sudden illness would have plunged his family into insurmountable debt.... more


Louisville Courier-Journal - Sep 13, 2000   
Insurance-Reform Group Criticizes Northup's HMO Votes
A non-profit group pressing for a patients' bill of rights said in Louisville yesterday that U.S. Rep. Anne Northup should change her vote on the issue or give up her right to sue HMOs - a right government employees have but most Americans don't.... more


Kansas City Star - Sep 12, 2000   
Patient-Advocacy Group Applies Pressure on Missouri Senators
A patient-advocacy group Monday called on Missouri's two Republican senators to support a patients' bill of rights they had previously voted against. "The real patients' bill of rights is being held hostage in the Senate," Jamie Court, executive direct... more


Associated Press - Sep 12, 2000   
Watchdog Group Wants Northup to Support Patient's Bill of Rights
Louisville, Ky -- A consumer group wants U.S. Rep. Anne Northup to give patients the right to sue managed care companies or give up her right to do the same as a federal employee. Jamie Court, executive director of the California-based Foundation for... more


Hartford Courant - Sep 07, 2000   
Doctors, Advocates Like Aetna's Choice
Aetna's appointment of Dr. John Rowe as its next chief executive gave hope to the medical community and consumer advocates Wednesday for further change at the nation's largest health insurer, while Wall Street weighed in with a bit of skepticism.... more


Modern Physician - Aug 01, 2000   
Anger From The Coast...California Physicians and Groups Lash Out At HMOs
Physicians in California, like Peter Finch's newsman Howard Beale in the movie Network, are as mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.... more


St. Louis Post Dispatch - Jul 25, 2000   
HUMAN GENOME
The announcement of the mapping of the human genome should be met with suspicion as well as hope. The corporate bid to own and control information about the human genetic code is an omen of the next great struggle facing humanity.... more


Sacramento Bee - Jul 24, 2000   
Guided Imagery May Smooth Road To Recovery
 Allen Hackett was feeling lousy. Hours earlier, surgeons had transplanted his son's healthy kidney into his abdomen.... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Jul 21, 2000   
Corporations Shuffle Patients
The integrity of insurance coverage must be protected
Individuals who sit down at their kitchen tables to pick their health insurance plan during the one open-enrollment month per year will find their carefully weighed choice meaningless if a new HMO industry policy of selling patients off like commodities i... more


USA Today - Jul 19, 2000   
Insurers: Plan Would Ease Health Services
Top executives from many of the nation's health insurers outlined a plan Tuesday that they say is the first unified effort to reduce hassles for patients and physicians. The reforms can be accomplished within 12 months and mark the beginning of a more... more


Sacramento Bee - Jul 15, 2000   
INSURERS SET TO TRADE 225,000 MEMBERS
UNITED HEALTHCARE, BLUE SHIELD IN DEAL
The nation's No. 2 health insurance company plans to pass off about 225,000 members to Blue Shield of California in a deal that could boost Blue Shield's membership in the state by more than 10 percent. Under the agreement announced Friday, members of... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Jul 15, 2000   
United to Shift its Members to Blue Shield
The 225,000 members of United Healthcare, a subsidiary of the United Health Group, will be moved to Blue Shield of California, the companies announced yesterday. The $40 million deal covers members in United Healthcare's HMOs, preferred-provider organ... more


Associated Press - Jul 14, 2000   
United Health sells 225,000 California Members To Blue Shield
In a deal symptomatic of the economics driving modern medicine, UnitedHealth Group Inc. Friday announced plans to sell 225,000 California policyholders to Blue Shield of California for $40 million. The proposed transfer drew immediate fire from the Fo... more


Kansas City Starr - Jul 02, 2000   
Discrimination and the Gene Code
 When I was a student, one of my closer friends was Darryl, a self-described black nationalist who was the crossover candidate for president of the student union at our predominantly white East Coast university.... more


Associated Press - Jun 30, 2000   
New California Department of Managed Care To Open Saturday
 The new state Department of Managed Health Care, part of an overhaul of the beleaguered HMO system, opens Saturday, with the challenge of restoring consumer confidence after one of the state's biggest political scandals in years. ... more


Houston Chronicle - Jun 30, 2000   
Rapid retreat; 2 Area Medicare HMOs Call It Quits
Two of Houston's biggest Medicare HMOs said Thursday they will be pulling out of the market, reflecting the rapid national decline of these once-promising health plans for seniors.... more


Ottowa Citizen - Jun 27, 2000   
'The language in which God created life': Breakthrough hailed as 'too awesome to comprehend'
WASHINGTON -- Awe-struck world leaders and scientists compared the completion of the map of the human genetic code to the first moon landing, but quickly warned yesterday that the scientific breakthrough must be tempered by strict legal and ethical guidel... more


Sacramento Bee - Jun 19, 2000   
HMO Czar's Bedside Manner Lauded
The state's new HMO czar hasn't levied a single fine or issued even one formal recommendation yet, but the health plans he'll regulate and other managed care stakeholders have already passed judgment: They like him. ... more


Sacramento Bee - Jun 18, 2000   
Bumper sticker bashes GOP, HMOs
The HMO-bashing Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is offering supporters of its cause a way to express themselves via bumper sticker. ... more


New York Times - Jun 18, 2000   
The 'R' Word; Justice Souter Takes on a Health Care Taboo
WHICH side are you on?" goes an old union song. It's a question patients might be asking their doctors in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision, shielding health maintenance organizations from some lawsuits by patients in federal court. *... more


USA Today - Jun 14, 2000   
Ruling Raises HMO Stock, But More Cases In Wing
  Wall Street gave the Supreme Court's decision on managed care a thumbs up Monday, but HMOs' legal battles are far from over.... more


Sacramento Bee - Jun 13, 2000   
Ruled Called Triumph For Managed Care
 In a decision that could prod Congress to act on health care reform, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that health maintenance organizations cannot be sued in federal court simply because they offer incentives to their doctors to reduce treatment costs.... more


Wahington Times - Jun 13, 2000   
Supreme Court Finds No Federal Case in HMO Lawsuit
The Supreme Court ruled 9-0 yesterday that health maintenance organization members injured because doctors ration health care in pursuit of cash bonuses may not make a federal case of ordinary malpractice lawsuits. ... more


LOS ANGELES TIMES - Jun 13, 2000   
GIANT MEDICAL GROUP IS BACK IN CRISIS MODE
The giant medical practice once owned by MedPartners Inc., whose financial crisis last year disrupted care for about 1 million patients in California, is once again near bankruptcy. ... more


Associated Press - Jun 12, 2000   
Court Nixes Some Lawsuits vs. HMOs
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court waded into the patients' rights debate Monday, shutting down one legal avenue for people to sue their health-maintenance organizations while Congress considers bolstering the right to sue.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - May 30, 2000   
Aribitration Squabble Breaks Out At Kaiser
An arbitrator selected to settle a patient's dispute with Kaiser is angry that the HMO's attorney disqualified him after he insisted that the case begin with a face-to-face meeting, leading him to question the fairness of this private dispute resolution p... more


Los Angeles Times - May 26, 2000   
DOCTORS TAKE HMO FIGHT TO FEDERAL COURT
California doctors on Thursday launched their broadest legal assault yet on managed care, accusing three of the biggest HMOs of conspiring to keep doctors' fees low, lying to doctors and patients about the quality of care members would receive, and attemp... more


Knight Ridder/San Jose Mercury News - May 17, 2000   
Kaiser health plan fined for 'systemic' problems in '96 death of woman
The state Department of Corporations has assessed a $1 million fine _ one of the largest ever _ against Kaiser Foundation Health Plan for "systemic" problems in its medical services that resulted in the death of a San Leandro woman in 1996.... more


San Francisco Chronicle Commentary - May 17, 2000   
Special Foundations Shortchange The Public
THE RESULTS of the scandal engulfing Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush should be to penalize any misconduct by the insurers and Quackenbush. However, "Insurancegate" should also teach Californians that public money and resources reserved for govern... more


San Francisco Chronicle - May 16, 2000   
State Seeks $1 Million From Kaiser In Death
The state agency that regulates health plans says Kaiser Permanente should be fined $1 million for failures in providing basic health care, including emergency services, at its Hayward facility.... more


CBS Evening News - May 16, 2000   
HMO Fined $1 M For Delaying Care
* Biggest Calif. HMO Fine Ever In Individual Case
LOS ANGELES CBS(CBS) Kaiser Permanente, California's largest health insurer, was slapped with a $1 million fine for problems uncovered during an investigation of a patient's death at a hospital the health insurer owns, CBS News Correspondent John Black... more


National Public Radio All Things Considered - May 16, 2000   
STATE OF CALIFORNIA LEVIES LARGE FINE AGAINST KAISER PERMANENTE FACILITY FOR QUALITY-OF-CARE PROBLEMS
ROBERT SIEGEL, host: The state of California has levied one of the largest fines ever against an HMO for quality-of-care problems.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 10, 2000   
Lawmakers Defy Governor On HMO Reform Law
Defying Gov. Gray Davis, lawmakers Tuesday refused to endorse a bill that consumers say would have gutted one of the most important HMO reforms passed in California last year.... more


San Francisco Examiner - May 10, 2000   
Demos fight Davis on HMOs;
Assembly committee rejects effort to deter patients from suing to recover medical costs
SACRAMENTO - Democrats in the Legislature have rejected an attempt by Gov. Davis to water down a cornerstone of the landmark HMO reforms he signed into law last year: the right for patients to sue their HMOs to recover medical costs.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 07, 2000   
Davis Opposes Making It Easier For Consumers To Sue HMOs
 A provision that makes it easier for consumers to sue their HMOs directly for large unreimbursed medical bills and related expenses will not go into effect if Gov. Gray Davis gets his way.... more


USA Today - May 04, 2000   
HMOs Take Spritual Approach
Health plans, buffeted in recent years for their no-frills approach to medical care, are pushing ever further into alternative medicine, hoping to find low-cost ways to boost patient satisfaction. ... more


Los Angeles Times - May 03, 2000   
Kaiser Tightens Rules on Writing Prescriptions
 Kaiser Permanente said Tuesday that it would abandon a policy of requiring its psychiatrists to prescribe drugs to patients whom they have not personally examined, a practice that drew an investigation by state regulators and a nationwide barrage of crit... more


San Francisco Chronicle - May 03, 2000   
Human vs. Corporate Rights To Genetic Information
LAST MONTH, a private corporation announced that it was winning the race with the public scientific team, the Human Genome Project, to decipher a human volunteer's genome. ... more


San Francisco Examiner - Apr 30, 2000   
Arbitration Increasingly Under Fire
Unhappy with her treatment in a 1997 medical examination and not wanting to sue the doctor and just quietly seek a settlement, Maureen Alexander and her husband went up against Blue Cross of California in arbitration.... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 23, 2000   
WHAT'S THE FAIREST BATTLEFIELD IN THE FIGHT FOR BETTER HEALTH CARE?; 
PATIENTS SHOULDN'T HAVE TO SIGN AWAY THEIR RIGHT TO A TRIAL IN ORDER TO RECEIVE MEDICAL CARE.
This week, the California Supreme Court reaffirmed that people in private arbitrations do not have the same rights as people who go to court. ... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 17, 2000   
State's New HMO Regulator Must Walk A Fine Line
  Daniel Zingale told a recent gathering of top health-insurance executives that he feels like the new sheriff in the Mel Brooks classic "Blazing Saddles"--greeted with suspicion at every turn.... more


Capital Journal - Apr 16, 2000   
HMO arbitration bill threated by moderate Dems
   Giving patients the right to sue their health maintenance organization was one of the most lauded health care reforms adopted last year -- that is until Democrats declared before the governor's signature on the bill was even dry that more legislation w... more


USA Today - Apr 12, 2000   
Aetna Pledges Patient Protections Incentives Questioned
In a closely watched deal, Aetna U.S. Healthcare has agreed to add some modest patient protections, settling a lawsuit brought by the Texas attorney general. The agreement settles a lawsuit filed in 1998, alleging that Aetna used financial incentives t... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Apr 12, 2000   
Psychiatrist Fired by Kaiser Sues Over Prescribing Practices
ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA- A former Kaiser psychiatrist has filed suit against the HMO in state court, charging that he was fired after refusing to prescribe medications to patients he was not allowed to personally examine.... more


BestWire - Apr 11, 2000   
OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE APPROVES PATIENTS' RIGHT TO SUE HMOS
OKLAHOMA CITY (BestWire) - The Oklahoma Legislature has approved a bill that gives patients the right to sue their health maintenance organizations for punitive damages. If signed by the governor, Oklahoma will join Texas, Georgia, California and most re... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Apr 08, 2000   
Department to Aid Managed-Care Plans; New Agency's Director Sets Goals at Conference for Health Care Industry
Daniel Zingale, director-designee of the state's newly created Department of Managed Care, told a statewide audience of health care executives yesterday that he has two major proposals to unveil: Anti-baldness formula Rogaine should be covered because... more


USA Today - Apr 07, 2000   
Insurers Step in to Give Doctors Advice, Many Analyze Prescriptions, Lab Test Results
If you're enrolled in the Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan in New York, your doctor might soon get a call from your insurer. The results of this lab test don't look good, the insurer's medical director tells your doctor. Why haven't you been given add... more


Sacramento Bee Editorial Page - Apr 05, 2000   
An Opposing View: Give Patients the Choice Of A Trial
Opinion Editorial by Jamie Court, FTCR
The Bee's March 26 editorial "Ill-suited reform" opposed AB 1751, which would guarantee the right of HMO patients to choose between a trial or private arbitration. The Bee's position ignores the powerlessness of patients in the forced arbitration system,... more


Associated Presss - Mar 28, 2000   
Bill Bars HMOs From Insisting On Dispute Resolution
SACRAMENTO (AP) -- Health maintenance organization patients could not be forced to take their disputes to arbitration instead of court under a bill that has passed its first test in the Assembly.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Mar 28, 2000   
A Hole in Patients' Rights
The Legislature left some unfinished business last year when it passed a bill allowing patients to file a claim for damages against their HMOs -- but not necessarily in a court of law. ... more


USA Today - Mar 23, 2000   
File safe? Health records may not be confidential
Most patients assume that what they tell their doctor is confidential. But it might not be.... more


Wall Street Journal California - Mar 22, 2000   
New Managed Care Chief Faces A Tough Operation
SACRAMENTO -- What could possibly have possessed Daniel Zingale to accept -- no, not merely accept but actively lobby for -- the job of running the state's new Department of Managed Care?... more


Gannett News Service - Mar 14, 2000   
GNS Special Report: Clinton's Health Care Legacy
 WASHINGTON -- After the fiasco that was health-care reform died ignominiously in 1994, legislators still itched to prove they could work together and provide some protection for Americans afraid of losing health insurance. In 1996, they hatched a plan.... more


Modern Healthcare Magazine - Mar 06, 2000   
On Second Thought, Activist Group Sorry To See Aetna CEO Go
fter calling a year ago for the dismissal of Richard Huber, chief executive officer of Aetna U.S. Healthcare, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights had second thoughts.... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Mar 04, 2000   
Opponents To Suitor For Aetna Speak Out
As quickly as the offer from the parent company of Wellpoint Health Networks Inc. to Aetna Inc. was announced this week, the opposition to the proposed deal was being heard.... more


Washington Post - Mar 02, 2000   
Aetna Gets Buyout Offer
Aetna Inc., the nation's largest health insurer, said yesterday that it had received a $ 10.3 billion joint buyout offer from WellPoint Health Networks Inc., a California-based health insurance company, and ING America Insurance Holdings Inc., part of a D... more


New York TImes - Mar 02, 2000   
Aetna Receives $9.9 Billion Takeover Bid From Two Companies
Aetna Inc. said yesterday that it had received a $9.9 billion purchase offer last week from ING America Insurance Holdings, a financial services company in the Netherlands, and WellPoint Health Networks, a California-based national managed care company. ... more


USA Today - Mar 02, 2000   
Insurer, Dutch Bank Bid for Aetna
A California health insurer and a Dutch investment bank are making a bold bid to take over Aetna US Healthcare. ... more


LA Times - Mar 02, 2000   
Insurance Giant Aetna Faces Takeover Bid
Medical insurance giant Aetna Inc., its own health faltering amid a growing public outcry over the managed-care industry, said Wednesday that it had received a $ 10.3-billion takeover offer from a partnership that includes smaller rival WellPoint Health N... more


Sacrmento Bee - Mar 01, 2000   
New Bill Asks More Clout For Doctors
A bill that would exempt California doctors in private practice from antitrust laws and let them link together to negotiate better fees from health insurers is shaping up as a feisty legislative battle. ... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Feb 29, 2000   
Bill Gives Doctors Leverage
California doctors would be able to escape antitrust laws and band together to negotiate fees and contract provisions with health maintenance organizations under legislation introduced Friday by state Sen. Jackie Speier.... more


Los Angeles Times - Feb 28, 2000   
Media Mix Column Book Review -- Making A Killing: HMOs and The Threat To Your Health (Common Courage Press, 1999)
There aren't many people who understand the flaws of HMO medicine better than Jamie Court, a tireless consumer activist who is co-founder of Consumers for Quality Care, a health-care watchdog organization that operates under the umbrella of the Foundation... more


Sacramento Bee - Feb 27, 2000   
Business Insider-- Aetna CEO Gets Critic In His Corner
Consumer activist Jamie Court's view of managed care companies isn't ambiguous. He is, after all, the author of "Making a Killing: HMOs and the Threat to Your Health." So it might come as a surprise that Court's Santa Monica-based group, The Foundatio... more


St. Petersburg Times - Feb 27, 2000   
Expectations High For Insurers
Florida has one of the longest lists in the nation of health benefits that must be covered. Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan knows firsthand the difficulties of getting insurance companies to cover certain cancer treatments.... more


Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel - Feb 27, 2000   
In Need Of A Cure
Health Care System Is Ailing
When Beth Guendjoian got the news she had breast cancer, her gynecologist told her she needed to find a surgeon. Using her HMO booklet, she contacted all the surgeons listed in Palm Beach County. Not one still had a contract with her HMO. Guendjoian,... more


Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel - Feb 27, 2000   
The Law on Lawsuits Can Be Confusing
Nancy Dunkle is a six-year survivor of ovarian cancer but an insurance company has decided not to pay for treatment that might help her live longer. Robert Dewey was ready for a liver transplant that might save his life but his HMO and his hospital co... more


Hartford Courant - Feb 26, 2000   
Doctors Hope CEO's Departure Brings More Cooperative Era
Former Aetna CEO Richard Huber once joked that when he met doctors at social events he would tell them he worked in the post office. But the tension that marked Huber's tenure was no laughing matter for many doctors - and some said Friday they hoped his... more


Los Angeles Times - Feb 26, 2000   
Aetna Chairman Resigns Amid Shareholder Pressure
Aetna Inc., the biggest U.S. health insurer, said Richard Huber on Friday resigned as chairman and chief executive amid shareholder pressure.... more


Washington Post - Feb 25, 2000   
Huber Resigns As Chairman Of Aetna
Aetna Inc. chairman and chief executive Richard L. Huber resigned yesterday after a period of disappointing profits, a swooning stock price, and growing public resentment toward the managed-health care company.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Feb 24, 2000   
Supreme Court Lukewarn to HMOs Being Sued
Justices Hear Case Challenging Managed Care Industry


New York Times - Feb 24, 2000   
Justices Seem Skeptical Over Letting Patients Sue H.M.O.'s That Offer Bonuses to Cut Costs
The Supreme Court raised a blizzard of questions today about a patient's challenge to the fundamental principle of managed health care that rewards doctors who hold down costs. ... more


Gannett News Service - Feb 24, 2000   
Supreme Court Hears HMO Case
WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court justices listened skeptically Wednesday as attorneys for a woman who won a malpractice claim against her doctor argued that the bonuses given by the woman's HMO to its doctors harmed the care that its patients received. ... more


Wall Street Journal - Feb 16, 2000   
As Aetna's Woes Pile Up, Its Chairman Is Under Fire
Aetna Inc. Chairman Richard L. Huber is facing mounting pressure from shareholders fed up with the health insurer's sickly stock price -- and his own brash management style.... more


Los Angeles Times - Feb 14, 2000   
INSURANCE LAWS QUIETLY TAKE EFFECT
STATE MANDATES REGARDING DIABETES, CONTRACEPTIVES AND PSYCHIATRIC TREATMENT MAY GIVE CONSUMERS EXPANDED BENEFITS
Bobbie, a 60-year-old South Bay woman living with diabetes for most of her life, wanted to see a nutrition counselor to learn how to better manage her condition. When her health insurer insisted that she'd have to switch to one of its HMO plans to get cov... more


U.S. News & World Report - Jan 31, 2000   
Get better care by being a little pushy with your doctor
I really don't have time to explain all this," Dennis Moore's physician said as he hurried away, and for the second time in a week Moore saw red, his anger rising. The first red Moore had seen was his own blood, after going to the bathroom. Now he needed... more


Oakland Tribune - Jan 27, 2000   
Bill Seeks Ban On Trial Waiver
OAKLAND –– Health maintenance organizations would be prevented from requiring incoming patients to sign away their rights to a jury trial if a new state bill introduced this month becomes law. The measure by Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, would stop the r... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Jan 25, 2000   
The Corporate Roots of Medical Errors
Opinon Editorial by Jamie Court
This month, the chief lobbyist for the HMO industry pronounced managed-care reform dead in Congress due to a new focus on "patient safety" prompted by a highly publicized report that more people die annually from medical errors than from car crashes, bre... more


USA TODAY - Jan 18, 2000   
TV ads return to lament plight of uninsured
Harry and Louise, the TV ad characters used by the insurance industry to help defeat President Clinton's health reform plan, take to the airwaves again Wednesday.... more


The Recorder - Jan 16, 2000   
Kuehl Renews Fight on HMO Arbitration
SACRAMENTO –– Declaring that a crucial piece of legislation was left out of HMO reform last year, Assemblywoman Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, announced Thursday that she will carry a bill banning mandatory binding arbitration clauses in health care contra... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 16, 2000   
HMO Bill Would Ensure Right To Trial Over Disputes
SACRAMENTO –– Millions of Californians who are members of HMOs would be assured the right to a court hearing in disputes with their providers under legislation proposed by Assemblywoman Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica). The Patients Right to Trial Act, p... more


Sacramento Bee - Jan 01, 2000   
New Bill Asks For More Clout For Doctors


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Dec 22, 1999   
HMO critic takes fight against managed-care abuses online
Jamie Court, that constant thorn-in-the-side of health maintenance organizations, has now adopted the World Wide Web as a weapon in his fight against managed-care abuses.
... more


Los Angeles Times - Dec 03, 1999   
Justices Block Bid To Skirt Arbitration In Malpractice Cases
State High Court Rules That Consumers Can Still Ask Courts To Bar Deceptive Practices But Otherwise Must Honor Agreements To Settle Disputes
SAN FRANCISCO –– The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that medical malpractice victims who are bound by arbitration agreements can still go to court to obtain orders that prohibit health care providers from certain deceptive consumer practices. ... more


American Health Line - Dec 03, 1999   
HMOs: 'Feel Good' Campaign Uses Docs
In an attempt to combat the public's seemingly increasing negative perception of managed care companies, the Coalition of Affordable Quality Healthcare launched a television advertising campaign featuring doctors stumping for HMOs, the American Medical Ne... more


Associated Press - Dec 02, 1999   
Court Says Judges Can Ban Deceptive HMO Practices
SAN FRANCISCO –– In a victory for consumers, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a patient can go to a judge, rather than an arbitrator, to ask for a ban on false advertising and other deceptive practices by an HMO. Lawyers said the ruling was... more


American Health Line - Nov 29, 1999   
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"At least the industry now believes it has something to prove to the public rather than simply being interested in proving to Wall Street that it can limit costs and make a profit" -- HMO critic Jamie Court on a recently-released AAHP memo.... more


American Health Line - Nov 29, 1999   
HMO INDUSTRY: AAHP URGES MEMBERS TO CONSIDER CHANGE
A memo from the head of the American Association of Health Plans (AAHP) states that health insurers have "themselves to blame" for the public backlash against managed care... more


USA TODAY - Nov 29, 1999   
Insurers' group wins praise with a frank 'call to action'
WASHINGTON -- A major health insurers' trade group is winning cautious praise, even from some staunch HMO critics, for admitting that industry practices contributed to the managed-care backlash. ... more


Modern Healthcare - Nov 29, 1999   
California Consumer Advocate Mounts Full-Court Press On Managed Care
If HMOs weren't beleaguered enough by patient reforms being pushed through Congress, they should be little cheered that one of managed care's biggest gadflies is now a published author. Jamie Court, director of the Santa Monica, California-based Consu... more


Publishers Weekly - Nov 22, 1999   
Making A Killing: HMOs and the Threat to Your Health–– Book Review
JAMIE COURT AND FRANCIS SMITH. Common Courage, $ 16.95 paper (224p) ISBN 1-56751-168-6. One of the most powerful indictments to date of the managed care industry, this scathing expose presents case histories of those who have lost their health or t... more


Orange County Register - Nov 17, 1999   
Huntington Beach, Calif.-Based Firm Offers Online Shopping for Surgery
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA -- You'll soon be able to put your plastic surgery out to bid on the Internet. Health Website Medicine Online will allow a consumer to post a request for plastic surgery, vision correction or foot surgery at: www.medicineonline.com... more


American Health Line - Nov 12, 1999   
Wall Street: Does Market Power Improve Care Quality?
An op-ed in today's Los Angeles Times applauds the "extraordinary" move by UnitedHealth Group allowing doctors to make "medical necessity decisions," calling it "a tribute to the growing HMO accountability movement and the shift on Wall Street that it... more


Los Angeles Times - Nov 11, 1999   
Quality Is Now A Factor In HMO Care
Opinion Editorial by Jamie Court and Frank Smith
This week's extraordinary announcement by the UnitedHealth Group that it will let practicing physicians make medical necessity decisions is a tribute to the growing HMO accountability movement and the shift on Wall Street that it has provoked.... more


Associated Press - Nov 11, 1999   
State Office to Help California Patients Maneuver Through Complicated System
Health care experts said the state's new patient rights office should handle complaints about HMOs, put out an annual HMO report card and fight for California residents' health care rights.
Assemblyman Martin Gallegos, D-Baldwin Park, was co-author... more


American Health Line - Nov 11, 1999   
Kaiser / AFL-CIO: HMO and Union Sign 'Historic' Agreement
Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest not-for-profit HMO, and a coalition of AFL-CIO unions on Tuesday announced an agreement that will "protect the jobs and incomes" of unionized Kaiser workers from coast to coast. Born from a partnership formed t... more


Orlando Sentinel - Nov 10, 1999   
Clinton Praises HMO's Move
United Healthcare Corp.'s groundbreaking decision to give doctors final authority over patient care won high praise from President Clinton on Tuesday and will likely give the health insurer a key marketing edge with consumers.... more


New York Times - Nov 09, 1999   
Big H.M.O. to Give Decisions on Care Back to Doctors
The United Health Group said yesterday that it was returning decision-making power over patient care to physicians, breaking with a longstanding element of managed care that has infuriated many doctors and frustrated their patients.... more


Riverside Press-Enterprise - Nov 09, 1999   
Band-Aids Suggested for Ailing Health Care
Recent trends within the health-care industry may help avert a collapse of the medical-group system and a mass disruption of patient care: New legislation. Gov. Davis on Sept. 27 signed a sweeping package of HMO reform bills, including one that sets fis... more


Los Angeles Times - Nov 09, 1999   
Key Health Plan Halts Reviews of Doctor Decisions
Action by United HealthCare, Which Covers 800,000 Californians, Would Eliminate Pre-Authorizations For Patients
In a dramatic sign that health plans are moving away from the tight controls and bottom-line incentives that have characterized much of managed care over the last decade, the nation's second-largest health insurer said Monday that it will quit interfering... more


Washington Post - Nov 09, 1999   
HMO to Leave Care Decisions Up to Doctors
UnitedHealthcare Has 14.5 Million Clients
UnitedHealthcare, one of the nation's largest managed-care companies, said yesterday that it will stop overruling doctors' decisions about what care patients should receive.... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Oct 31, 1999   
State Law Gives Consumers Leverage When HMOs Say, No!
Kent Manthorne's troubles began with the discovery of a strange little blotch on his right ear. Years before, he had skin cancer on the same ear, and a dermatologist was telling him that surgery was necessary.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Oct 31, 1999   
New kid on regulatory block to challenge the HMOs
Imagine being asked to adopt a child, then, after seeing that infant through its first difficult years, being forced to give it up for adoption because you've been deemed to be an unfit parent. ... more


American Health Line - Oct 27, 1999   
Aetna: CEO Huber's Aggressive Rhetoric Piques Some
Despite Wall Street's support of his "gloves-off" approach to the class-action lawsuit against Aetna, company CEO Richard Huber is "making matters worse for Aetna and the beleaguered (HMO) industry," according to legal experts and consumer advocates.... more


USA TODAY - Oct 20, 1999   
HMO love affair over?
Relationship between money, health hits skids
Employers' recent love affair with managed care -- a slimmer, younger, less expensive version of traditional insurance -- has wound up like many affairs: with blame and recrimination. ... more


Boston Globe - Oct 19, 1999   
Advocates, State Officials Hone Call for Patients' Bill of Rights
Coalition Seeks Support for Referendum
Tapping into the same populist outrage against health maintenance organizations and for-profit medicine that has led California and Texas to pass patient protection measures, Massachusetts activists yesterday called for similar protections here.... more


Associated Press - Oct 18, 1999   
Activists Call for Moratorium on For-Profit Health Care
The state should take steps to make sure its health maintenance organizations remain non-profit, activists said Monday. "Non-profit medicine is the best. If they change over to for-profit centers, it's a disaster waiting to happen," said John O'Connor,... more


Christian Science Monitor - Oct 13, 1999   
Putting the 'H' back in HMO
Opinion Editorial by Jamie Court
California pioneered health maintenance organization medicine, and now it is pioneering its reform. Earlier this month, Gov. Gray Davis signed a new law allowing patients who are seriously harmed to collect punitive damages from HMOs that deny them necess... more


The New York Times - Oct 12, 1999   
Health Care Horror Stories Are Compelling But One-Sided
The debate leading up to the House vote last week to expand patients' rights was punctuated by a stream of health care horror stories. Last Wednesday, for example, Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee, Democrat of Texas, rose to tell the story of "little St... more


Los Angeles Times - Oct 12, 1999   
Too Much Money Goes To Bureaucrats
Opinion Editorial by Jamie Court
Patients' rights legislation passed last week by the U.S. House of Representatives and other bills signed into California law recently by Gov. Gray Davis fail to deal with one of the most crippling crisis in health care today: Too much of our health care... more


Chain Drug Review - Oct 11, 1999   
California Sets New Standards
SACRAMENTO, CA -- California, which has been a leader both in the development of the managed care industry and in the regulation of that sector of health care, is implementing new laws that will allow patients to file lawsuits against health maintenance o... more


Los Angeles Times - Sep 29, 1999   
JUSTICES TO HEAR CHALLENGE TO HMO SHIELD
CASE IS ONE OF SEVERAL INVOLVING RESPONSIBILITY FOR INJURIES TO PATIENTS. LOWER COURT UPHELD RIGHT TO SUE DESPITE FEDERAL BAR.
Patients and the managed health care industry will soon face off in the U.S. Supreme Court over whether patients can sue a health plan that puts its bottom line ahead of patient care. The high court announced Tuesday that it will hear a case in which a... more


Sacramento Bee - Sep 28, 1999   
HMO Reforms Signed
Establishing a system that consumer advocates say will put California at the forefront of the patients' rights movement, Gov. Gray Davis on Monday signed a sweeping package of health care reforms, topped by a measure that will let patients sue their HMOs... more


New York Times - Sep 28, 1999   
Trailblazing California Broadens the Rights of its H.M.O. Patients
Gov. Gray Davis signed a package of bills today that will give patients a variety of new rights in their relationship with health maintenance organizations in California and could well influence managed health care coverage across the country.... more


Associated Press - Sep 28, 1999   
California Overhauls HMO Oversight, Calls on Congress to Follow Suit
A wide-ranging new package of health care laws that grants Californians the right to sue HMOs for damages has raised hopes among consumer advocates and Democratic officials that the federal government will follow suit.... more


CNN - Sep 27, 1999   
New Law Allows Californians to Sue Health Care Insurance Providers
SHOW: CNN THE WORLD TODAY 20:00 pm ETTranscript # 99092710V23
California governor Gray Davis signed legislation earlier today allowing many patients to sue health insurers if they can prove they've been harmed by decisions about treatment. The reform package also entitles patients to appeal denials of treatment to i... more


Christian Science Monitor - Sep 24, 1999   
California Tilts Power Toward Patients
In an ambitious health-care reform package expected to spur similar changes nationwide, California will soon offer medical consumers a wide range of new benefits - including access to second medical opinions and the right to sue health-maintenance organiz... more


Los Angeles Times - Sep 10, 1999   
Ambitious Plan to Reform HMOs Nears Completion
Legislature: Measures Would Ease Access to Second Opinions and Grant New Power to Appeal Decisions, As Well As Mandate Coverage for Severe Mental Illnesses.
SACRAMENTO, CA –– In a day of frantic lawmaking that could dramatically affect the health care of virtually every Californian, legislators Thursday completed most of an ambitious state plan to reform managed care.... more


Associated Press - Sep 09, 1999   
California Legislature OKs HMO Bill
SACRAMENTO –– Californians would gain the right to sue their health insurers and new insurance benefits under measures approved by the Legislature Thursday and sent to the governor. The right to sue, one of the most contentious proposals, won Senate appr... more


Los Angeles Times - Sep 09, 1999   
State Close to Allowing Suits Against HMOS
SACRAMENTO –– The first of long-promised reforms for the troubled managed health care industry overwhelmingly cleared the Assembly on Wednesday, one that would enable 14 million Californians to sue their health care providers for damages.... more


Associated Press - Sep 08, 1999   
Assembly backs giving consumers right to sue HMOs for damages
Patients who suffer substantial harm from a health insurer's decision to delay or deny treatment would gain the right to sue under a bill backed Wednesday by the Assembly. ... more


Sacramento Bee - Sep 02, 1999   
Davis Holds Off on HMO Benefits
When Gov. Gray Davis issued an HMO reform plan last month, he put off addressing the question of whether health maintenance organizations should be forced to offer certain new benefits.... more


Associated Press - Aug 30, 1999   
Newly Released List of Managed Care Complaints Stirs Debate
SACRAMENTO –– The findings are sure to spark a political firefight. New state figures show that more than 23.5 million people are enrolled in California's managed health care plans, but only a scant few - a mere nine-thousandths of a single percent -... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug 25, 1999   
Reforming HMOs while deforming our beleaguered tort system
Last week, the HMO industry launched another multimillion-dollar advertising blitz to stop a bipartisan congressional compromise for HMO patients' rights.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug 19, 1999   
Davis urges new patients' rights
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Gray Davis yesterday proposed a vast new set of rights for managed-care patients, including second opinions, an independent system for challenging HMO decisions and more help investigating complaints from a new consumer-friendly agency.... more


THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER - Aug 19, 1999   
Protection plan for HMO users unveiled
Patients' rights would include independent review when care is denied.
Gov. Gray Davis on Wednesday outlined a sweeping proposal to overhaul the way managed-care health plans do business in California.... more


Los Angeles Times - Aug 19, 1999   
DAVIS OUTLINES PLATFORM ON HMO REFORM
PROPOSALS INCLUDE GIVING PATIENTS LIMITED ABILITY TO SUE
Setting the terms of engagement on health care reform, Gov. Gray Davis on Wednesday outlined what he would accept in new HMO regulation, including letting patients sue their health plans and submit disputed medical decisions to independent reviewers. ... more


State Net Capitol Journal - Aug 16, 1999   
Final Four Time For Lawmakers' Last Push
Despite the change from two-party to one-party control of both policy-making branches of government, the traditional end-crunch of activity is shaping up no different -- and some say worst -- from past years when Democrats regularly sparred with Republica... more


Associated Press - Aug 06, 1999   
Letter Asks Gov. Davis To Meet With People Harmed By Their HMO
SACRAMENTO –– A group of HMO patients asked Gov. Gray Davis on Friday to meet with them to discuss their concerns about managed-care legislation. Last month, a group of business and labor leaders met with Davis behind closed doors to discuss proposed... more


Associated Press - Jul 19, 1999   
Nader Says California Governor Caving In To HMOs
SACRAMENTO -- Consumer-rights activist Ralph Nader scolded Gov. Gray Davis on Monday for providing "the antithesis of leadership" on health care, contending the governor's judgment has been clouded by campaign donations from HMOs.... more


Associated Press State & Local Wire - Jul 02, 1999   
Health Insurer to Drop Medicare HMO Services in Parts of Colorado
California and Northeastern states
Foundation Health Systems Inc. said Thursday that it will drop health maintenance organization coverage for nearly 16,000 Medicare recipients in parts of the West and Northeast where federal reimbursements don't cover the cost of services.... more


USA TODAY - Jun 28, 1999   
Merger Hurts Patients
Opinion Editorial by Jamie Court
The Justice Department's approval last week of the Aetna-Prudential merger shows that Justice is indeed blind. The new Aetna will provide health care for one in every 11 Americans and will have the bulk to downsize services, hike prices and leverage docto... more


The New York Times - Jun 22, 1999   
U.S. Approves Deal For Huge Company For Managed Care
Over the objections of doctors groups and consumer advocates, the Federal Government today approved the $1 billion acquisition of Prudential Health Care by Aetna Inc., which will create the nation's biggest managed care company.... more


Associated Press State & Local Wire - Jun 02, 1999   
Senate, Assembly OK Bills Letting Patients Sue HMOs
Patients denied medically necessary treatment by their HMOs could sue the managed-care plans for damages under landmark legislation backed Wednesday by the California Legislature.... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - May 25, 1999   
Health Hazards
Critics Say 'Little HMOs' Bear More Risk Than They Can Afford
One consumer advocate calls them "HMOitos," using the Spanish diminutive to characterize them as little HMOs. Despite the cutesy connotation, the advocate says there's nothing endearing about the growing number of mini-HMOs.... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - May 19, 1999   
CALPERS Rate Hike
Like the fever spike of a sudden illness, California's biggest buyer of health insurance said yesterday that it will pay an average premium hike of 9.7 percent for its members next year. The announcement by California Public Employees' Retirement Syste... more


Associated Press State & Local Wire - May 19, 1999   
HMO Rates Going Up 9.7 Percent in 2000 for 1 Million CALPERS members
Health care premiums for more than 1 million state and local government employees and retirees will increase next year by an average of 9.7 percent, the California Public Employees' Retirement System says. ... more


San Jose Mercury News - May 03, 1999   
Rx For Health Care: Proposed HMO Reforms Should Include Legal Liability
Opinion Editorial of San Jose Mercury News
Eager to polish their image, California's health management organizations and insurers of managed care announced a package of reforms last Thursday for the Legislature's consideration. These changes would be good, but they don't go far enough.... more


The New York Times - Apr 30, 1999   
U.S. Scrutinizing Aetna Proposal to Buy Prudential Unit
Doctors and consumer advocates have flooded the Justice Department with evidence they say suggests that Aetna's plan to buy Prudential Health Care would harm competition in the health insurance industry.... more


San Franciso Chronicle - Apr 28, 1999   
Hold HMOs Liable
San Francisco Chronicle Opinion Editorial
The threat of a lawsuit can be a powerful incentive to do the right thing, yet 14 million Californians insured through private employer health plans are denied the prerogative of a comprehensive court remedy. Because of a 1974 federal law -- the Employee... more


Hartford Courant - Apr 20, 1999   
Aetna Facing Lawsuit
Racketeering Case May Be First Of Kind
A California consumer group filed a racketeering lawsuit against Aetna Inc. Monday, saying the nation's largest health insurer routinely makes widespread, false claims about the quality of its medical coverage. The lawsuit, which further heats an alread... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Apr 20, 1999   
Consumer Group Sues Aetna Inc.
Consumer health care advocates opened a new front against HMOs yesterday by joining in a suit against the nation's largest health care provider, Aetna Inc., for racketeering. The lawsuit claims Aetna attracted potential customers by saying it was dedica... more


Houston Chronicle - Apr 13, 1999   
Reaction is mixed over ruling on HMO lawsuit
Consumer advocates are praising and managed care officials are criticizing a federal appeals court's decision allowing a Houston woman to sue an HMO for damages in state court. The decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans came... more


Associated Press - Apr 10, 1999   
Court Allows Suit Against HMO
A federal appeals court has ruled that an HMO may be sued over the quality of health care in a case in Texas, the only state that has a law permitting such claims. However, the ruling does not allow patients to sue because an HMO won't pay for a particu... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 07, 1999   
Senate Panel OKs Bill on HMO Liability
Measure Would Expand Patients' Ability to Sue - Previous Attempt was Beaten Back by Former Gov. Wilson, Insurers, and Employers
SACRAMENTO –– A state Senate committee approved a bill Tuesday that would hold health maintenance organizations liable for interfering in the quality of care provided to 14 million Californians. The action dealt a substantial setback to the managed care... more


New York Times - Mar 18, 1999   
Group Sues to Halt Kaiser Permanente Ads
In the latest legal attack on managed health care, a consumer advocacy group asked a California court this week to halt advertising by Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest health maintenance organization, contending that the company's advertising recru... more


Los Angeles Times - Mar 17, 1999   
Kaiser Sued Over Ad Campaign
A consumer advocacy group sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan over a television advertising campaign in which the nonprofit health maintenance organization proclaims that its doctors, not its administrators, make all decisions on patient care, basing them... more


The Recorder - Feb 23, 1999   
Ambulance Chaser? Why You @#%*!
Richard Huber made that mistake in a story published Jan. 22 in The Hartford Courant, two days after jurors in San Bernardino hit Aetna U.S. Healthcare of California with a $120.5 million judgment for refusing to cover an experimental treatment for... more


Hartford Courant - Feb 20, 1999   
Aetna-Prudential Deal Getting Close Scrutiny
Aetna's $1 billion deal to buy Prudential HealthCare isn't sailing through the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust review as quickly as Aetna's previous health-care acquisitions.... more


Hartford Courant - Feb 18, 1999   
Aetna-Prudential Plan Goes to State Hearing
Connecticut insurance regulators will hold a public hearing Friday on Aetna's planned purchase of Prudential HealthCare, which is drawing protests from the state medical society and a California consumer group.... more


Time Magazine - Feb 01, 1999   
The People v. HMOs
You Can Sue Your Boss. You Can Even Sue the President. But Most Americans Can't Sue Their Health Insurer. Reform is Afoot to Change That.
Attorney David Goodrich held an almost religious belief in playing by the rules. Certainly his deference to protocol and respect for others were plainly evident on the day in June 1992 when, in the middle of the courtroom, he toppled flat onto his back. C... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 27, 1999   
Jury's Verdict is a Loud and Clear Message to HMOs: A $120 Million Award Says that Aetna and Other Firms Must Do Better at Authorizing Treatment
Opinion Editorial by Jamie Court
Should the life and death appeals of HMO patients really be in the hands of private reviewers who are hired by the HMO and use private protocols to reach their decisions? Privatization advocates have long tried to turn public control of our schools, cour... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 24, 1999   
Girl's Death to Test Malpractice Award Limits
Mychelle Williams, 18 months old, died of a treatable infection that a simple blood test would have detected--a victim both of malpractice and patient dumping, a Compton jury decided. The jury awarded Mychelle's single mother $ 1.35 million in damages f... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 22, 1999   
Jury's Huge Award in HMO Case Renews Debate on Patient's Rights
The $120 Million Judgement Against Aetna May Force the Industry to Examine its Policies and Fuel the Drive to Let More Patients Sue
The stinging $120-million verdict by a San Bernardino County jury against Aetna U.S. Health Care of California may force introspection among HMOs nationwide and heat up the debate over patients' rights to sue them, attorneys, legislators and experts said... more


New York Times - Jan 21, 1999   
$116 Million Punitive Award Against Aetna
A jury in California yesterday awarded $116 million in punitive damages to a patient's widow who contends he died after a subsidiary of Aetna Inc., the nation's largest health insurer, delayed approving treatment for stomach cancer that its own doctors ha... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Jan 20, 1999   
Don't Let HMOs Privatize Reforms
Opinion Editorial by Jamie Court
Should the life-and-death appeals of HMO patients really be in the hands of private reviewers who are hired by the HMO and use private protocols to reach their decisions? Privatization advocates have long tried to turn public control of our schools, cou... more


Houston Chronicle - Jan 19, 1999   
HMO Domination in Houston
Aetna Tries to Soothe Doctors' Fears
Aetna U.S. Healthcare is the managed-care company many physicians love to hate. Once a genteel company that earned the nickname "Mother Aetna," the giant health insurer is coming under fire from Houston-area doctors as it prepares to take over more than... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Jan 11, 1999   
Bleak Forecast for Future of Health Care
As a turbulent decade in American medicine begins its final spin, crystal ball gazers are peering into the future of health care, and they are not finding a pretty picture. In 2010, millions of Americans will still be living without health insurance, wh... more


Capitol News Service - Jan 08, 1999   
Suit Acuses Quackenbush of Inadequate Regulation of Sale of Long-Term Care Policies
Two senior groups have filed suit against state Insurance Commissioner Charles Quackenbush, claiming he hasn't done enough to enforce regulations on companies that sell long-term care insurance policies to older Californians. A Quackenbush aide said the c... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Jan 01, 1999   
Agency Tells Kaiser that it Must Cover Viagra
The state Department of Corporations ordered Kaiser Foundation Health Plan yesterday to continue covering Viagra prescriptions, rejecting Kaiser's argument that subsidizing potency pills for some men would unfairly raise insurance costs for all members.... more


Los Angeles Times - Dec 31, 1998   
An Equal Chance: Hospitals Need Backbone to Cut Deals with Health Plan
One of the most hard-nosed of all the health plans, Blue Cross of California, has yielded ground in recent negotiations with three San Gabriel Valley hospitals, agreeing to raise its reimbursements for medical procedures.... more


Los Angeles Times - Dec 09, 1998   
Don't Rely on HMOs to Police Themselves
Opinion Editorial by Jamie Court
Should the life and death appeals of HMO patients really be in the hands of private reviewers funded by an HMO industry that use private protocols to reach their decisions? Privatization advocates have long tried to turn public control of our schools, co... more


Associated Press - Dec 04, 1998   
California HMOs Offer Safeguard to Patients Denied Treatment
Twenty-two California health maintenance organizations, which cover nearly all of the state's HMO members, have agreed to allow patients who are denied treatment to appeal to an outside panel of doctors.... more



In The Media - 2002

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